Serving Injured Clients & Their Families Throughout Arizona
Do You Have A Case?
Call us today for a free consultation
Harris powers* & cunningham
Catastrophic Injury And Wrongful Death Attorneys
Phoenix Injury Attorneys
Harris powers* & cunningham
Catastrophic Injury And Wrongful Death Attorneys
Medical
Malpractice

wrongful
Death

Personal
Injury

Car
Accidents

Truck
Accidents

Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

HIPAA Patient Health Records

Your medical records are considered confidential information. Therefore, when an attorney brings a medical malpractice case your behalf, you must sign a medical authorization for the release of your medical records.

The confidentiality of medical records was established by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Under this act, health care providers, health insurance companies, and other entities involved in the administration of health care may not share personally identifiable medical information without your consent. Patients who believe their health information was improperly revealed or was not properly protected may file a complaint with the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), which will investigate and penalize the offender if warranted.

Arizona Laws Protecting Medical Records

A. Confidentiality of Medical Records and Payment Records

Many states have their own laws regarding health information privacy, some of which predate HIPAA and others which were passed after it to strengthen safeguards or enhance punishments. It is important to note that state laws generally cannot weaken protections provided by HIPAA only enhance them. This is called “preemption.”

In Arizona, A.R.S. §12-2992 provides protections for the confidentiality of medical records and payment records. It notes, “all medical records and payment records, and the information contained in medical records and payments records, are privileged and confidential. A health care provider may only disclose that part or all of patients medical records and payment records as authorized by state or federal law or written authorization signed by the patient or the patient’s health care decision maker.”

In a personal injury lawsuit such as a medical malpractice case, a plaintiff generally waives protections provided by A.R.S. §12-2992 by filing a lawsuit. However, waiver is only for medical conditions and records related to the lawsuit. Thus, if a patient sues for a knee surgery, records related to gynecological care will generally be protected and not discoverable.

B. Doctor-Patient Privilege in Arizona

Communications between physicians and patients made for the purpose of receiving treatment are confidential in Arizona and may not be divulged in civil court proceedings under A.R.S. §12-2235. A patient generally waives this privilege by initiating a lawsuit in which the patient’s health is at issue. However, this privilege is waived only in regard to the condition at issue in the lawsuit.

Because the doctor-patient privilege belongs to the patient, the patient must assert the privilege. If a doctor begins to disclose privileged information in court, the patient (or his or her attorney) must object. Otherwise, the patient waives the privilege.

C. Healthcare Data Breaches in Arizona

In Arizona, information about an individual’s medical or mental health treatment by a healthcare professional is considered “personal information,” requiring notification within 45 days if information was wrongly released by an institution. (H.B. 2154). Notice must contain the date of the breach, a brief description of the information disclosed, and contact information for the three largest consumer credit reporting agencies and the Federal Trade Commission.
If you believe your medical information was released without your consent, an Arizona attorney be able to assist you.

Archives

FindLaw Network

REAL RESULTS

$3,234,253
Wrongful death of young mother due to delay in diagnosis…
$9,750,000
Failure to diagnose and treat infant resulting in permanent injuries to infant.
$5,875,000
Wrongful death of young mother with 2 minor children due to multiple…
$5,000,000
Head-on collision with drunk driver resulting in brain injury…
$4,250,000
Permanent injuries to adult male in hospital after guidewire left…
$3,234,253
Wrongful death of young mother due to delay in diagnosis…
$9,750,000
Failure to diagnose and treat infant resulting in permanent injuries to infant.
"Ethical & Professional"
Thank you for your patience and understanding. I was impressed when we first met you, as I still am today, with how ethical and professional you are. I know we were very fortunate to have you representing us. I also want to thank your staff for all they have done. Please pass on our appreciation to anyone that had anything to do with our case. – LA
"Best Attorney Ever!"
I want to thank you for all your efforts on our behalf in settling our legal claim concerning my dad’s death. We’re grateful that we finally prevailed and are relieved to put it behind us now. But as gratifying as that has been, what remains with me the most is my deep gratitude for your compassionate..” – GG
"Your Reputation Got Us The Favorable Settlement Amount"
I never had any doubts that we were in the best legal hands. I’m convinced that your reputation got us the favorable settlement amount that we agreed on. – BA
"I Feel So Lucky To Have Found You"
I was dreading having to go through a legal battle along with trying to get well and feel well. I feel so lucky to have found you. I know you were doing your job, but I want you to know how much I appreciated your kindness and compassion. You really helped me through a difficult time in my life. – GP
"Incredible Work!"
It has been very hard for me to go through such a difficult time without my parents here. My dad would be so pleased and supportive of the incredible work you are doing for me. I know he is smiling and my mom is grateful. Thank you. – MK
"Ethical & Professional"
Thank you for your patience and understanding. I was impressed when we first met you, as I still am today, with how ethical and professional you are. I know we were very fortunate to have you representing us. I also want to thank your staff for all they have done. Please pass on our appreciation to anyone that had anything to do with our case. – LA
"Best Attorney Ever!"
I want to thank you for all your efforts on our behalf in settling our legal claim concerning my dad’s death. We’re grateful that we finally prevailed and are relieved to put it behind us now. But as gratifying as that has been, what remains with me the most is my deep gratitude for your compassionate..” – GG