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    Question: Proof of Claim Question.

    Great. One of my creditors, a hospital, also filed proof of claim that fully itemizes my medical procedures on a specific date. Doesn't that violate HIPAA? Or something?

    #2
    Originally posted by tigergem View Post
    Great. One of my creditors, a hospital, also filed proof of claim that fully itemizes my medical procedures on a specific date. Doesn't that violate HIPAA? Or something?
    It's perfectly understandable that you would find public disclosures of your medical history and procedures you received distasteful and disrespectful. However, your medical provider also needs to prove what dollars you owe to the court when their claim is filed.

    There's a pretty good explanation of the uneasy relationship between HIPAA disclosures and medical providers being involved in a bankruptcy at http://www.abiworld.org/committees/n...rotection.html . Makes for interesting reading.
    I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice nor a statement of the law - only a lawyer can provide those.

    06/01/06 - Filed Ch 13
    06/28/06 - 341 Meeting
    07/18/06 - Confirmation Hearing - not confirmed, 3 objections
    10/05/06 - Hearing to resolve 2 trustee objections
    01/24/07 - Judge dismisses mortgage company objection
    09/27/07 - Confirmed at last!
    06/10/11 - Trustee confirms all payments made
    08/10/11 - DISCHARGED !

    10/02/11 - CASE CLOSED
    Countdown: 60 months paid, 0 months to go

    Comment


      #3
      I don't see how that article addresses my question. It seems to be regarding the patient as a debtor, presumably if the facility has filed bankruptcy - and medical records storage.

      I know for a fact that at least my trustee, seems to be allowing the creditors to file claims simply stating an amount, without full accounting, and I do not see how full disclosure of every medical procedure performed was material to the accounting. Especially since the fully itemized amount is several thousand dollars and their claim amount is $500.00

      Comment


        #4
        TG, I did my best to quickly provide a reliable legal resource to help in your obscure and very unique situation. Regret the resource didn't meet your needs. Let's try this again.

        I'm a registered nurse and unfortunately familiar with the nearly incomprehensible HIPAA legal rules - they are as bad as BAPCPA in many ways. However, since you have asked for more detailed information that's directly pertinent to your situation, let's take a dive into the murky HIPAA regulations.

        HIPAA regulates disclosure of "individually identifiable health information" in the following areas:

        * Health plans (including health, dental, vision, and prescription drug, long-term care, and Medicare supplement insurers and HMOs), and health care clearinghouses (including billing services and repricing companies)

        * Any health care provider that transmits or causes a third party to transmit health information in electronic form in certain transactions, including claims, benefit eligibility, and referral authorization requests

        * “Business associates” of other covered entities. A business associate is essentially a person or organization that provides support services for a covered entity that involve the use or disclosure of individually identifiable health information. Business associates include legal, actuarial, accounting, consulting, data aggregation, management, administrative, accreditation, and financial services.
        (My emphasis.)

        (Summarized from http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcon...t=adam_levitin)

        The only place you might have grounds to use unlawful disclosure of individual medical informtion on their Ch 13 claim under HIPAA to discipline the hospital is in the third "business associates/legal" area. That means you would have to prove that the bankruptcy court is a "business associate" of the hospital to show that the HIPAA regs had any standing in how the hospital and bk court interacted.

        Just for the sake of argument, let's say that a government HIPAA lawyer says the hospital did violate HIPAA regs by disclosing the personally identifiable dates you underwent medical procedures when they filed their claim with the bk court. Will you be satisfied if the hospital withdraws their claim documentation, removes the specific medical information from it, and refiles it? Do you want to pursue a monetary penalty for the potential violation? In other words, what's your goal pursuing this and what do you want the outcome to be?

        If you only want the personal identifying information removed and the claim information resubmitted without the personal medical information, then you can request in writing that the hospital remove your personal medical information identifiers and refile their claim.

        However, if you are interested in pursuing a monetary penalty for the possible violation, even if you win the violation case, the chances of collecting any serious cash is neglible.

        Here's the list of legal penalties for HIPAA violations - http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/phys...orcement.shtml . As you can see, there's a sliding scale of violations and penalties. The hospital will likely invoke the first level of HIPAA violation - "Individual did not know (and by exercising reasonable diligence would not have known) that he/she violated HIPAA". That's a $100 penalty for a one-time violation. That's not going to go very far, even in Ch 13

        I agree that it is unfortunate that the hospital filed their claim containing your personal identifiable medication information the way they did. However, I also think it would be challenging to prove that they violated the HIPAA regs by doing so.
        I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice nor a statement of the law - only a lawyer can provide those.

        06/01/06 - Filed Ch 13
        06/28/06 - 341 Meeting
        07/18/06 - Confirmation Hearing - not confirmed, 3 objections
        10/05/06 - Hearing to resolve 2 trustee objections
        01/24/07 - Judge dismisses mortgage company objection
        09/27/07 - Confirmed at last!
        06/10/11 - Trustee confirms all payments made
        08/10/11 - DISCHARGED !

        10/02/11 - CASE CLOSED
        Countdown: 60 months paid, 0 months to go

        Comment


          #5
          That's a very thorough explanation, thank you.

          What's so hard to prove about the fact that my medical record is now publicly available to anybody on the planet with an internet connection?

          Seeing as how HIPAA does not create a private cause of action for those aggrieved, what I hope to gain is immaterial. Would I like to see them have to do some 'splaining Lucy? Oh... you betcha I would. I hope they do get fined by the OCR, but I don't really care one way or the other, because the outcome doesn't affect me one way or the other. Would I like to see them redact the information and be bound as tightly to rules of bankruptcy procedure as I am? Oh...you betcha!

          Comment


            #6
            Looks like you're not the only one:

            http://www.jsonline.com/business/80553442.html
            filed chapter 13..confirmed...converted to chapter 7...DISCHARGED!

            Comment


              #7
              Cool. Thanks, catleg. I wrote a letter to them and cc'd the trustee on it. justbroke also suggested that I file a motion for redaction. I think I might do that.

              Comment

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