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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3

    Angry Medical Debt Collector Knew Personal Health Information

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Florida.

    I had some medical debt while unemployed/uninsured from 2005-06. The bills went to collection, but I have since paid most of them off IN FULL. Two remaining collections are on a payment plan. I just paid off another last week. While I was talking to the collection agency rep, he proceeded to tell me MY medical history and the diagnosis for the hospital bill.

    I thought that protected health information (PHI) was not supposed to be in the average Joe's hands? To make it worse, the same company disclosed the original hospital's name, address, patient account number, why I went to the ER, and the diagnosis (AFTER IT WAS PAID IN FULL) to a potential employer during an authorized background check!

    I have paid this, to the collection agency, and I'm thinking that HIPAA or FCRA or FACTA have some rules against original creditors, and their third party business associates such as debt collectors, from disclosing -- or even having -- this type of information.

    Any advice on what I can do to stop debt collectors from disclosing my personal health information?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Medical Debt Collector Knew Personal Health Information

    If this was an outside debt collector, the collector shouldn't have had access to your your medical history.

    You can find information about reporting HIPAA violations here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Medical Debt Collector Knew Personal Health Information

    Thank you for the link. I've tried reading (translating) it, but terms like "necessary minimum" leave a lot unanswered. Also, it's very difficult to blend my state's statutes regarding debt collection practices with protected health information.

    I'll try reading it again for new clarity.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Medical Debt Collector Knew Personal Health Information

    debt collection practices and HIPAA are two different issues. It isn't whether a debt collector had the information but rather did they get it from an entity that is restricted by HIPAA laws from disclosing your medical information. If so, that agency is the entity that is the one subject to disciplinary action, not the collector.

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