Visitor Question

My medical records were stolen and used against me in court…

Submitted By: Angie (Fullerton, CA)

My ex obtained my medical record illegally with my stolen medical record number. He obtained it in an attempt to use it against me in our custody trial, which he ended up submitting as evidence. He made multiple copies of it and disclosed this private information to his girlfriend.

My disorders have never gotten in the way of me being a wife or mother. My health insurance acknowledges the breach, but did nothing aside from send me letters. He got my record without a subpoena and discovery inquest. The OCR (Office for Civil Rights) has picked up the investigation.

Does the OCR take care of matters when it comes to him? I read everywhere that this a punishable offense, but who exactly does this? I know the OCR will definitely pursue and fine my insurance, but what of the perpetrator? What can I do to ensure that he does not get away for breaching my privacy and violating my civil rights? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Angie,

When you discuss the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), you are referring to the investigative body for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or “HIPAA.” The OCR investigates violations of HIPAA by covered entities.

For purposes of HIPAA, “covered entities” can include:

– Doctors and nurses

– Pharmacies

– Hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes

– Health insurance companies

– Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)

– Employer group health plans

– Certain government programs that pay for health care, such as Medicare and Medicaid

While the OCR investigates violation of HIPAA by covered entities, it does not specifically investigate individuals who are NOT covered entities. From the facts you present, your ex-husband is not a covered entity.

While your ex-husband is not directly subject to HIPAA regulations, he may have committed a crime if he used your personal information to obtain your records. You can contact the police and ask to file a claim of theft of personal property. While it is a “long shot,” it is possible the police will investigate the matter.

Moreover, if your ex-husband illegally obtained your information by using false information over the internet, he may be guilty of one of many computer crimes presently on the books in many states.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 8, 2015

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