Personal health information is the most private and delicate of all data collected from individuals. The most intimate details are shared with and recorded by health care providers and insurance companies. Often times a second thought is not given to the vast amount of personal health information maintained in electronic and paper records. Federal and state laws require protections for this type of data. Unfortunately, mistakes happen, and systems fail. Personal health information can be accessed due to a breach of computer systems or file storage rooms.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 “HIPAA” was enacted to provide a framework for protection of and personal accessibility to personal health information. Before the HIPAA rules were established, as recently as the year 2000: a third of all Fortune 500 companies checked medical records before they hired or promoted; private companies could get hold of the most sensitive medical information for marketing purposes, e.g., expectant mothers who haven't even told their friends the good news, would find sales letters for baby products in their mailboxes; health insurance companies could share medical records with mortgage companies who might be able to use them to deny a loan; health insurance companies could keep you from seeing your own medical records; and the federal government had free reign to launch criminal prosecutions based on information gleaned from routine audits of medical records.1
Attorney Mark Elliott is an experienced lawyer with the up-to-date knowledge required to enforce the rights of individuals in Orlando, Orange County, and Central Florida seeking to protect their health information privacy and take action against those responsible for unauthorized breaches of personal health information.
Mark Elliott Law also assists health care providers and organizations stay compliant with the complex HIPAA regulations. As a former Assistant General Counsel at a Washington, D.C. medical center comprised of an acute-care hospital, medical office building, and skilled nursing facility, attorney Mark Elliott has valuable experience with both the requirements and government enforcement of the HIPAA Rules.
We invite you to contact our law office to schedule a consultation in our Orlando office.
1Remarks by President Clinton on Medical Privacy, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., December 20, 2000.