Health Information Management

What does HIPAA say about a covered entity retaliating against an employee or others who file complaints or otherwise exercise their rights under HIPAA?

HIM-HIPAA Insider, March 15, 2004

Q: What does HIPAA say about a covered entity retaliating against an employee or others who file complaints or otherwise exercise their rights under HIPAA?

A: The regulations prohibit retaliation or intimidation against any person for the following reasons:

  • If an individual exercises any right permitted under HIPAA, or participates in any process permitted by HIPAA, including the filing of a complaint.
  • If an individual files a complaint with the Secretary of HHS.
  • If an individual testifyies, assists, or participates in a HIPAA-related investigation, compliance review, proceeding, or hearing.
  • If an individual opposes any act or practice made unlawful by HIPAA, provided the person has a good-faith belief that the practice is unlawful. The manner of the opposition must be reasonable, and it must not involve a disclosure of PHI in violation of HIPAA.

Editor's note: Brought to you by attorneys Marty Baxter and Gretchen McBeath at Bricker and Eckler, LLP ( http://www.bricker.com ) and The Quality Management Consulting Group, Ltd. http://www.qmcg.com). E-mail: mbaxter@bricker.com or gmcbeath@bricker.com

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