A Patient Tries To Extort You For Your HIPAA Violations

A Patient Tries To Extort You For Your HIPAA Violations

Posted by Amy Wood on Aug 15 2016, 11:19 PM

A Patient Tries To Extort You For Your HIPAA Violations

Imagine you have a new patient come in that needs a lot of work.  This could be great for your dentistry production goals this month.  Unfortunately, the patient and her husband want to go to a clinic to get the work done cheaper.  :(

You get a call from this clinic asking for you to send the X-rays.  You know that you need the patient's signed consent to transfer X-rays to another office, so you politely tell the clinic.  They come back with an exasperated, "But they are in the chair!  It's really easy, just email it."  Fortunately, you stick to your guns and insist that the patient sign the consent.

15 minutes go by and still no fax or email from the patient or the clinic.  Then the husband gets involved.  He starts calling, demanding the X-rays be sent over.  He calls repeatedly until he wears you down and you send the X-rays just to free up your phone line. 

Bad move.

The next day you get an email from the husband citing federal HIPAA laws and state Private Right of Action laws.  This guy is demanding $30,000 as hush money or he will turn you in to state and federal agencies governing HIPAA and Privacy!  Seriously? 

This is not just a story.  This has happened a few times to offices that have reached out to us for help.  In all cases, we were able to get the practice compliant quickly, avoid hefty fines and not give the patient or her husband the satisfaction of a payout.  There are enough people that understand the laws surrounding HIPAA and privacy and they are looking at your deficiencies and exploiting them.  If you are unsure if you are compliant, give us a call.  We are experts in making dental practices compliant, secure and confident when faced with situations like this.


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