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What Can You Do If You Find Your Medical Records Were Improperly Disclosed?

Focused West Virginia attorneys advise victims of medical record data breach

Medical records contain troves of personal information. In the wrong hands, these documents give a person the power to commit fraud and other illegal acts. Health care data breaches can leave a victim with costly medical bills for procedures they did not receive as well as increased insurance premiums or loss of health care coverage. The West Virginia data privacy attorneys of The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC in Charleston work to hold data thieves and negligent medical facilities accountable by obtaining money damages for victims.

Experienced Charleston legal team takes action after HIPAA rights violations

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that sets nationwide standards for the legal protection of health care patients’ personal information. Entities covered by HIPAA include health plans, doctors, other health care providers, health care clearinghouses (such as billing services companies), insurance companies and employers.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires that covered entities establish and follow reliable procedures to keep each patient’s information confidential and secure. The rule covers information stored and communicated orally, on paper, electronically and via any other method. An entity covered by HIPAA can disclose protected information only in limited circumstances. Valid reasons include authorized disclosure by the individual or their representative or an emergency situation where the disclosure is determined to be in the best interest of the individual or public.

Personal medical information can be compromised in many ways. A medical professional may violate HIPAA by carelessly leaving documents out in the open. Or data may be exposed in a data breach committed by cybercriminals. Our West Virginia privacy violations attorneys can examine the circumstances in which your information was shared and determine if the disclosure was illegal.

Trusted firm offers guidance on steps to take after medical record disclosure

Once you learn that your data was accessed, there are immediate and long-term actions you can take to limit the damage. You should:

  • Confirm and assess the exposure — Contact the company or individual responsible for the data breach to confirm whether and how much of your information was accessed by an unauthorized party. The consequences of having your Social Security number or medical history exposed are potentially more serious than those for exposure of only your credit card number.
  • Check your accounts and update your security — Check your bank account statements for suspicious activity and report it. After a breach, it is best to change the passwords and security questions for the breached accounts and any accounts that use the same login information. You will also want to monitor your credit reports and medical records over time to keep an eye out for fraud.
  • Get help — A health care facility or other entity responsible for a data breach may offer assistance with protecting your information, such as by paying for credit monitoring services.

You should also speak to an attorney. Resolving medical records fraud can be time-consuming, frustrating and expensive. Our skilled litigators take appropriate legal action against hospitals, doctors, nursing homes and other organizations that violate HIPAA or that fail to protect sensitive health information. We pursue the compensation that victims need to remedy the financial costs of medical identity theft. In addition, we advise victims of criminal fraud in bringing cases to the attention of prosecutors.

Contact dedicated Charleston medical records privacy lawyers for a free initial consultation

The legal team at The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC in Charleston, West Virginia advises and litigates on behalf of victims of medical records privacy breaches. To schedule a free initial consultation with our office, call 888-819-1281 or contact us online.