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Letters: HIPAA settlement

February 15, 2016 Concerning the article "University of Washington to Pay $750,000 HIPAA Settlement," (Jan. 4 ADA News), where does the $750,000 go? I think we have too much government regulation that discourages business startups and continuation. Shouldn't the person creating and sending the malware be held accountable? Shouldn't the patients affected be the ones to bring legal action against the malware creator and sender and restitution made to the patients affected rather than rewarding oversized government at business' and ultimately patients' expense? The patient should try to get justice individually first and if that doesn't work then get legal help. Then, if that doesn't work, utilize the court system. The government's role should be to go after the malware perpetrator and provide a court system to help see that the patient is recompensed by the malware perpetrator for any damages. If the $750,000 goes to the government, then the patients end up having to pay higher prices on top of being injured and the businesses won't be able to afford the protection they need. It seems the bureaucracy is killing business, patients and the economy and letting the malware perpetrator go free. Will ADA advocacy help us fix this?

Khem M. Wood, D.D.S.
Miami, Oklahoma

Editor's note: The 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act provides that penalties and settlements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act are to be transferred to the Office for Civil Rights for purposes of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act enforcement. The HITECH Act also directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish regulations for providing a percentage of penalties and settlements to individuals harmed by a HIPAA violation. The ADA routinely comments on proposed rules promulgated under HIPAA.