The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act helps to introduce many rights to you as a patient. It safeguards your privacy and enables you to have control over who has access to your private medical information.
However, it does not necessarily prevent everyone from getting access to your information without your permission. According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, many of the rules associated with HIPPA do not apply in a workers’ compensation situation.
HIPPA does have recognition for legitimate needs for health information. Workers’ compensation is one of those exceptions because your employer, or at least your employer’s insurer, will require medical information in your workers’ compensation case to make proper determinations about benefits. ‘
Workers’ compensation payers and the Worker’s Compensation Division are not entities that must follow HIPPA regulations when it comes to securing your medical information. You might want to note that these entities do have other privacy laws they must follow, though.
The result of the exception for workers’ compensation is that the insurer or the agency does not have to get your authorization to access your medical information concerning the injury or illness for which you want to collect benefits. Your doctor or healthcare provider must provide the requested information to workers’ compensation representatives when they request it even if you do not approve the requests because, under the law, these entities have the right to that information.
Of course, once the agency or insurer has your information, it should keep that information private and protected. You do have the right for it to not become public.