Parties and counsel on both sides of health-related employment claims must be familiar with the contours of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HIPAA issues will undoubtedly arise in litigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Working knowledge of HIPAA’s privacy rule can prepare you to spot privacy issues and advise clients appropriately, and may be essential to obtaining the information you need to effectively develop or defend a claim.
Lawyers for covered entities have additional reason to get comfortable with HIPAA’s privacy requirements. Business associates of covered entities—including lawyers—are now directly subject to HIPAA’s privacy rule and other requirements as well as new enhanced enforcement provisions under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.