Q:

Is it against HIPAA law to share patient records with another person?

A:

Quick Answer

Sharing patient records with an unauthorized person is a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Medical records held by health plans or providers that contain information about a patient's condition, treatment or payments qualify as HIPAA-protected information.

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Full Answer

Those who commit HIPAA violations are subject to fines ranging from $100 to $50,000 per violation as of 2015, says the American Medical Association. Unknowingly sharing protected information is punishable by a lower fine than knowingly doing so.

Patients may choose to fill out a release to authorize specific individuals, called personal representatives, to access their medical records, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, unless the patient objects, information may be shared with other health care providers and family members if it is necessary for the patients medical care.

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