My apologies for the wait.HIPAA VIOLATION?
Here is the issue - what they did is arguably
a HIPAA violation. HIPAA is a federal law that in part provides privacy rights to individuals for their private healthcare information. 45 C.F.R. 164.524(b) et seq
. Any authorization must be in writing.
However, you state that you gave them a BLANK form. This means that if the form was blank for ALL the records, then they simply provided all records.
Now I know that you have talked with them and told them specifically what was needed, and not all the records, but this falls under something called the parol evidence
rule Wilburn v. Stewart, 794 P. 2d 1197 - NM: Supreme Court 1990
. This means that if something was verbally stated but also written (as the blank form was, and later filled in), the writing controls. IN OTHER WORDS, IT SEEMS LIKE YOU GAVE THEM PERMISSION FOR THE WHOLE FILE.
There is another issue - HIPAA does not give the right to SUE for a violation. However, this may be overcome by suing for "negligence per se" in state court. Statutory violations are negligence per se if the statute violated was enacted for the benefit of the person injured. Bouldin v. Sategna, supra; Hayes v. Hagemeier, 75 N.M. 70, 400 P.2d 945 (1963)
. This has been sometimes successful to provide an avenue of relief for a HIPAA violation. But, the case is not easy.FINDING COUNSEL
May I recommend the NM Bar referral programs - here
. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.
OR, try here
for another trusted directory.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.
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