Q: Legal options for tort claim against unauthorized medical records release
I authorized workman's compensation insurance company "A" to access my medical record from medical provider "B." The authorization had a specific date range and limitation on types of records that could be disclosed. Company A submitted a forged authorization form that was more broad than the one I gave them to provider B. This resulted in my entire medical record being disclosed to A. This disclosure of information resulted in the denial of my original claim because of prejudicial records.
I wish to purse legal action. What options do I have?
A: Hire a work comp attorney to assist you with your case. this can easily be avoided and you will get better medical care through an attorney doctor referral to a doctor who is known to be an injured worker advocate rather than a friend of the insurance bottom line. also you will get expert analysis of the final medical report that is used to determine your settlement value. you cant get a fair offer to settle without an attorney on your case. as for your claim of damages for unauthorized disclosure of medical information, an employment attorney may be the best to consult regarding such a claim
A: You can sue for invasion of privacy, and perhaps violation of HIPAA and False Light.
A: It is a CRIME to (1) Forge then (2) violate HIPAA limitations, and proof of a crime can serve as proof of Duty and Breach; so you might want to start your Tort prosecution by getting the tortfeasors prosecuted by the local District Attorney. A HIPAA Complaint can be filed with the federal Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Search HIPAA Violation Lawyers and ones that do this will show up (i know of NO workers comp specialists who do HIPAA Violation prosecutions). Your Comp Attorney can try to move that the records be sealed and not open to review by just anyone seeing your Comp file, and that the reports of doctors summarizing the protected records be stricken from evidence as a 'Sanction' for forging the signatures and violating HIPAA regulations
A: You should talk to an attorney about your options. From what I have seen though, the damages for such an invasion rarely put much money in your pocket. But if you want to pursue it for the "principle" of the matter and aren't concerned with getting a monetary judgement then go for it. It's hard to know why your past records created an as you say "prejudicial" finding to deny your claim. But if you sit down with an attorney and go over everything you should come away knowing what you can do moving forward.
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