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My medical records were released to a collection agency

My medical records were...

My medical records were released to a collection agency without my consent, can I sue?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

I was in IL when I had the service. Although now I reside in TX

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

The facility is in IL. None, I just found out yesterday.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I have a copy of what the Drs office sent the collection agency.

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
4/28/2018
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 126,803
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

What do you mean they were released to a collection agency without your consent? Did you owe the debt? What specifically was released to the collection agency?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I did owe money for the services. I disputed the charges with a credit repair company and I Recieved a copy of all of my diagnostic tests that I took. This came from the collection agency verifying specifically why I was charged for the medical tests. The letter had specific tests i toook.

Thank you for your reply.

I was very afraid you were going to say that. Once a patient disputes a debt and demands validation from the credit collection agency, that IS their tacit consent under HIPAA to disclose the information to the collection agency so the agency can provide validation of the debt.

The HIPAA privacy rule requires a "business associate" (collection agency or billing firm) to reasonably limit the amount of information disclosed for such purposes to the minimum necessary as well as to abide by reasonable requests for confidential communications.

Once a debtor asks a collection agency to validate that debt, they are giving the collection agency permission to get the information necessary to validate that debt. So by disputing the charges with the credit repair company that gave the collection agency the right to get the information from the doctor to prove the debt. Patients can dispute such debts by contacting the doctor directly to demand personal health information surrounding the debt and thus avoid the doctor sending the information to the collection agency, but it is not a HIPAA violation for the doctor to share the information with the collection agency if you disputed with the collection agency through a credit repair company or otherwise I am sorry to say.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 126,803
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Verified
Law Educator, Esq. and 87 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
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Did you have any further questions about this issue?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
No, seems pretty cut and dry.

I am sorry, like I said, I was hoping your reply to my question was not what it was, so I could have some better information for you.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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