Is mailing test results a HIPAA violation?

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Is mailing test results a HIPAA violation?

I received a piece of paper in the mail that was single stapled on the bottom. On the paper has my first, middle initial, and last name and has my test results. It is very legible what it says when the staple is intact. It is nobody business what and when I had a test done and the results. Does this violate HIPAA and if so what would I do next?

Asked on August 26, 2010 under Personal Injury, Arizona

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Not necessarily.  It could be under certain circumstances but it may not be under all circumstances.  What did you sign when you went to the testing facility or the doctor?  Did you receive a patients notice of practices or rights?  Did you sign anything authorizing disclosure without really reading it?  It was addressed to you, correct?  At the address listed by you?  And who mailed them to you?  The doctor's office?  Labs in most states will not mail out the results of the test to the patient directly.  They will mail them to the doctor that ordered the test to insure that someone other than the patient does not open it up. If you believe that your rights have been violated I would check with your state Department of Health. Good luck.


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