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Medical Privacy

Protecting Patients' Medical & Health Privacy

Our medical privacy lawyers employ various state and federal health privacy laws to help ensure the protection of patients’ private medical information. When privacy violations occur, these laws can also provide patients with important rights to seek legal recourse and hold responsible companies accountable. Our medical privacy lawyers represent patients nationwide whose personal information was unlawfully revealed or collected as result of a health privacy violation.

A variety of different laws and regulations protect patients’ privacy, both at the state and federal levels. Our medical privacy lawyers represent those whose rights may have been violated under laws such as:

California Confidentiality in Medical Information Act
California’s Confidentiality in Medical Information Act requires that health care providers, HMOs, and other health care contractors obtain patients’ written authorization before disclosing medical information, with some exceptions. It also requires that these entities establish procedures to ensure the confidentiality of patient medical records and health information in their possession and that they properly dispose of any medical record information in a way that preserves patient confidentiality.

FTC Health Breach Notification Rule
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has established the Health Breach Notification Rule, which requires certain businesses not covered by HIPAA to notify their customers and others if there is a breach of unsecured, individually identifiable electronic health information. Under the FTC’s Rule, companies that have had a security breach must: 1) notify everyone whose information was breached; 2) notify the FTC; and 3) notify the media, in some cases. Businesses that violate the Health Breach Notification Rule may be subject to a civil penalty of up to $16,000 per violation.

Was Your Private Medical or Health Information Exposed?

Patient privacy violations and data breaches often involve records and patient information maintained by:

  • Pharmacies
  • Health insurance companies
  • Hospitals & clinics
  • Government health plans, such as Medicare & Medicaid
  • Treatment & therapy centers
  • Insurance companies
  • Nursing homes & treatment centers

Medical and Patient Privacy Class Action Lawsuits

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Patient Privacy Class Action Lawsuit
Girard Gibbs filed a class action on behalf of UCSF patients alleging that UCSF violated its patients’ medical privacy rights. The suit alleges that UCSF routinely disclosed patients’ names and contact information as well as information about their treatment at UCSF to a company called Target America, which used the information to “data mine” patients for wealthy fundraising prospects.

Health Net & IBM Medical Privacy & Data Breach Class Action Lawsuit
In March 2011, Health Net notified over a million patients that their personal information was compromised, potentially exposing patients’ names, addresses, medical information, Social Security numbers, and financial information. Girard Gibbs filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Health Net and its server driver company, IBM, violated patient privacy laws.

Concerned About the Security of Your Medical Information?

Speak with one of our medical privacy lawyers by filling out the form to the right.