Today I noticed a HIPAA related poll question being conducted by the West Virginia Hospital Association. The results to date suprised me.
The poll asks the question:
If you thought a person, agency or organization covered under the HIPAA Privacy Rule violated your health information rights, would you know how to file a complaint?
As of the time I took the poll only 12 people had responded. Suprisingly more people answered no (66.7%) than yes (33.3%). I suspect that most people typically accessing the WVHA website are in some fashion involved with or knowledgeable about the health care field. As such, I would have believed that they had a higher degree of understanding of the laws related to privacy under HIPAA and how to file a written complaint with the Office for Civl Rights under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
For those who want to learn more about the process for filing a complaint you can access a a Fact Sheet issued by the Office for Civil Rights. You can also access the complaint form and file it by mail, fax or via email. You can also access more information pertaining to the medical privacy rule under the Health Insurance Portability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) at the medical privacy section of the Office for Civil Rights website.