Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.
Are you asking about a lawsuit or other options in the civilian system or are you asking about options within the military?
I can discuss the civilian options but any question dealing with military law has to be opened as a separate question in that category. Would you like for me to discuss the civilian issues?
Great. As you already know, HIPAA is the federal law covering privacy of medical records among other things.
However, the courts have been extremely conservative on remedies under HIPAA. They have specifically stated that the law does not allow for a private citizen to bring a lawsuit for HIPAA violations.
However, you can do a couple of other things.
First, you can contact the Attorney General for the state or the Justice Department if it is on a military base and ask them to pursue a lawsuit for the violation.
Realistically these aren't done very often but it is an option.
The main enforcement tool under HIPAA is a complaint made to the licensing agency who licenses the physician and the medical provider, as well as through the Office of Civil Rights and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Do you have any questions?
No, you could never pursue a private lawsuit yourself.
The only way a lawsuit can be pursued is if the government does it.
They can pursue it. There is no way to force them to do so but it is certainly within their power.
Without a lawsuit. The credentialing/licensing agencies almost always sanction them in some way.
You're very welcome. Anything else I can answer for you?
No, there is still no lawsuit for a HIPAA violation. The courts have said there is no way to get there on that issue. To be honest, we were all surprised because we all thought it was going to be actionable but the courts shot it down quickly and completely.
You're very welcome.
Best wishes to you on this and please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I’d suggest Excellent!) so I get credit for my work. Also, there is a special category you can select for your other question called Military Law. It has several expert but it sometimes takes a little longer to get a response in that category.
I'll exit now to assist others.