Protection of health information of patients is one of the primary aims that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) seeks to achieve. This being the case, it is natural that whenever an entity that is tasked with protection of this data fails to achieve this, it has to face penalties and other punishments for HIPAA violations. HIPAA violations and law enforcement play a major role as a medium in ensuring that patient information is kept confidential as required by this legislation.
HIPAA violations and law enforcement are built on the national privacy standards that have been embedded into HIPAA. If any information about the patient is disclosed to any unauthorized source without authorization, this constitutes breach of patient privacy, and brings HIPAA violations and law enforcement into play.
HIPAA violations and law enforcement is founded on a well-established set of fines and penalties that are prescribed for the different kinds of privacy breach. This is how HIPAA violations and law enforcement work:
HIPAA's Privacy Rule has a definition for a law enforcement official. Any officer, official or employee of any local, State, or federal agency, or a member of an Indian tribe who has the requisite qualification can be appointed as a HIPAA enforcement official.
Such an official, who has been given the power to investigate a potential violation of Protected Health Information (PHI), is empowered to prosecute an entity that is found to be violating provisions of the HIPAA. This constitutes the core of HIPAA violations and law enforcement.
Of course, such a designated person should carry the requisite legal identification documents required to establish the proof of the person's authenticity. Any Covered Entity, including hospitals, has the right to demand proof of genuineness of the person's identity. This said; a law enforcement official has to have the proper permissions and situations to carry out law enforcement activities for HIPAA violations.
HIPAA violations and law enforcement actions are warranted by certain situations. Some of these include:
HIPAA violations and law enforcement also set out criteria for HIPAA violations and law enforcement. HIPAA inspectors cannot delve into any data arbitrarily, nor is the CE obliged to part with this information. HIPAA violations and law enforcement require this three-tier "test" for information to be shared with the designated officer/s: