How Does HIPAA Impact Discovery?

With the rise of modern technology, the ways in which we process and retrieve information has changed dramatically. The medical field has been one of the most affected, and with the ability to rapidly share information, the need to protect this information has grown exponentially. The United States was able to keep up with the needs of its citizens by passing the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This act essentially changed medical record retrieval for medical professionals, legal professionals, and the law.


HIPAA protects every American from having their information shared or discovered by a variety of individuals. Even the deceased are protected under these high tech HIPAA laws. This is a federal regulation, and every state must comply with the HIPAA guidelines for medical record retrieval, and only have the option of having more protection for their citizens. HIPAA also protects the transfer and sharing of all medical documents regardless if they are transferred via high tech methods or more organic means.


One of the most important areas of medical record retrieval that these HIPAA laws protect is the discovery of these documents by third party sources. Sometimes, in order to proceed in a court case or hearing, medical records are needed to prove truth or to be used as evidence. HIPAA high tech retrieval as well as old-fashioned methods, in terms of discovery, is covered by the same regulations and guidelines, and the fines for violating these rules are severe and can exceed over a million dollars.


Legal professionals who need to access medical records for court proceedings have to use special rules and procedures to obtain these records. In order to get these HIPAA records via high tech or other means, generally a lawyer or judge must fill out a HIPAA authorization form. This form ensures that anyone attempting medical record retrieval has the proper information, intention, as well as permission to access the medical records. This documentation also requires legal need, such as a subpoena to ensure the safety of the person's records that are being retrieved. Though the discovery of medical documentation is affected by HIPAA enforcement, whether said discovery occurs via high tech means or not, it helps keep patients safe from harm and also helps maintain privacy.


HIPAA is something that may have made life a little more difficult, especially for those in legal professions, but it has also made life much safer. With the rise of the modern age, privacy is a concept that many do not understand anymore. However, with the development of HIPAA, medical records retrieval has become private and safe again so that citizens of the United States can rest at ease knowing their information is safe. Making sure that the discovery of these records is regulated as well simply adds to the safety and security that HIPAA provides for patients, and knowing how to retrieve this information should you need to is also important for avoiding fines and making sure that information is secure and protected.


How HIPAA laws affect medical records retrieval via high tech and other means in regards to legal discovery.



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