Looks like the act that is supposed to protect you from fraud is fraud itself…..
Many Americans think the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects their medical privacy, but federal bureaucrats issue thousands of subpoenas every year without prior judicial approval to get around the law.
“If you don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy against government in your medical care, then where does it exist at all? If that’s not private, then what is?” Adam Bates, a criminal justice policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Congress passed HIPAA in 1996 with a promise that it would clamp down on waste, fraud and abuse in the health care industry and safeguard patient privacy. But HIPAA allows federal bureaucrats to get patient records merely by issuing administrative subpoenas, or civil investigative demands.
These bureaucratic edicts bypass the Fourth Amendment’s requirement that a judge must give prior approval before government can take an individual’s property. Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector General and the Department of Justice (DOJ) thus have access to any records they believe to be “relevant” in cases of alleged health care fraud.
“The subpoenas are so broad that they almost always will include patient records,” David Douglass, a partner at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton law firm which represents health care providers also told TheDCNF.
The DOJ issued 2,102 administrative subpoenas in 2001 over suspected health care offenses, according to a 2002 DOJ report. That doesn’t include subpoenas issued by other agencies, like the HHS IG. Nobody knows how many administrative subpoenas are issued annually now because the 2002 report was the last time an official count was done.