HIPPA Legal Definition

What is HIPPA?” 

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HIPPA Legal Definition

© By Rhoda Baer

HIPAA legal definition: HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act  is a comprehensive law that, among other things, requires healthcare providers to protect the privacy and security of their patients’ medical information and not to disclose sensitive information without knowledge or consent. 

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HIPPA in Medical Malpractice Cases

When a healthcare provider mishandles protected health information regarding their patients and it results in a HIPAA violation, a patient may want to sue. While it is not common for a provider to be sued solely on the grounds of a HIPAA violation, HIPAA rules often overlap with many state statutes regarding protected patient health information. 

HIPAA laws overlap with medical malpractice rules when it comes to a doctor’s responsibility to maintain a patient’s privacy. To win a medical malpractice case on this basis, the patient’s attorney must make a strong case that the provider’s standard of care includes the requirement to follow HIPAA regulations.

With case law  HIPAA has been deemed a “standard of care” and the failure to maintain a patient’s privacy, a HIPAA violation, might fall under this definition of malpractice.

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