Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Under HIPAA, healthcare insurers and healthcare providers are the entities that have to abide by HIPAA. The healthcare provider is not supposed to turn over your personal health information without your consent or for a valid medical reason, such as disclosing to the insurer for billing. The collection agency should not have received that information and for that you can sue the health provider who released the information. You have to sue under your state law for confidentiality of medical records, because HIPAA has no private right to sue and under HIPAA you must file a complaint with the US Department of Health and Human Services, as they are the sole entity that has enforcement authority under HIPAA.
Furthermore, you need to file a "Motion to Strike or for Protective Order" which you would use to ask the court to remove that information about your medical condition or to seal the record so nobody can see the information.
You also can consider that if there is no way for you to afford paying these bills, to seek to file bankruptcy to have them extinguished, as bankruptcy is no longer what it used to be and it is not the stigma people used to attach to it. However, that is something you need to discuss with a local attorney who would need to review all of your assets and debts in person to make a proper decision on whether bankruptcy would work for you.
These are your options based on the information you provided above.