I am always amazed when people cite laws that they have never read, or even read any scholarly articles about. HIPA is one of these. 2,000 pages of gobbledy gook, and all it says is that insurance companies can share information. Interpreted at its best, that means that the insurance companies can spot fraud easier (I’m not talking fraud by patients, but fraud by doctors and 3rd party service providers). Got that. But what it was really intended for was to deny people coverage or claims (pre-existing condition), despite the fact that a denial of health care for pre-existing condition is illegal in most states now, the insurance companies do it. I hear complaints and my husband and I even applied for insurance and they denied him based upon his sleep machine (CPAP), etc. Nothing major, but here we have a top 10 insurance company denying coverage or making it astronomical under “preexisting condition” which was outlawed in Illinois years ago.
Please take a look at the below and understand HIPA does NOT protect patient privacy with respect to 3rd parties, only insurance companies. And it’s a DISCLOSURE law, not a patient secrecy law or patient’s rights law.
Accordingly, no one can sue under HIPA for medical information disclosure. At least not in Illinois, far as I can find on Fastcase.
The Illinois Supreme Court has recognized the tort of “intrusion upon seclusion” which requires 1) an unauthorized disclosure of private information 2) in a manner which would be considered outrageous. This means the neighbor breaking into your home and rifling through your private papers, or someone hacking your computer (tho this may be covered under cyber hacking laws, federal and state).
Read on and rest assured that under HIPA all your insurance companies, past, present and future, now know all about you. Are they covered under HIPA? Yes. Can they disclose except to other insurance companies. NO. Can you sue them if they do disclose under HIPA? NO. In 2,000 pages of gobbledy gook, there is no remedy for violation of the statute, so that means if you are wronged or harmed (lose your job, your reputation, your clients) because someone discloses something like you have a lot of abortions, have an STD, whatever, you can’t sue unless another law provides a remedy.
Credit Shannon May