Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds That Lack of HIPAA Knowledge Does Not Bar Criminal Conviction


On May 10, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that an individual may be criminally convicted of knowingly obtaining health information in violation of HIPAA, even if the individual did not know that the access was illegal.  The decision serves as a reminder to health care providers, health plans, and their business associates that ignorance of the law is no excuse to avoid criminal prosecution with respect to HIPAA, and that serious repercussions may result from accessing patient information without a legally valid reason. 


Categories:Health and Human Services


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