Part 1: Learning About HIPAA (FAQ 12 of 65)
12. How to Solve Problems Presented by HIPAA
In this guide, we point out some shortcomings with the HIPAA rule. The rule doesn't require covered entities to do everything that you might want. It may not protect privacy sufficiently or define your rights as expansively as you think it should.
In many instances, deficiencies in the rule can be addressed when covered entities (See FAQ 9) and patients work together in good faith to address problems that arise. The rule generally doesn't prevent covered entities from treating patients better than the rule requires.
We suggest that when the rule doesn't give you a formal right that you think is reasonable, ask the covered entity to consider doing what you need anyway. The rule gives a covered entity discretion to take actions that can benefit patients and their privacy. If you ask politely and persistently for help, you may get it. If one person won't bend the rules or procedures, then ask another person a supervisor, or to the Privacy Officer at the covered entity. Try to work cooperatively with the covered entity.