A HIPAA violation, a $1.8 million verdict, and three takeaways

http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=10780

Second, a HIPAA violation may amount to malpractice. A violation can be as dangerous and as costly as a misfilled prescription. Under federal law, patients cannot directly sue under HIPAA. There is no “right of private action” by the law. HIPAA can, however, be evidence of the pharmacist’s standard of practice. A violation of HIPAA is negligence and may be used to establish duty. Violation of duty along, with an injury caused by that violation, may amount to malpractice…

Legally and ethically, a patient’s records may be used only for the benefit of the patient…

If this was really true, then the use of PDMP databases — freely accessed by law enforcement, other government agencies, and state medical boards — would be both illegal and unethical. Not that those two concerns make any difference to the DEA or state medical boards.

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