Small Milwaukee publisher sues to stop misrouted medical faxes putting him at risk

Jim Stingl reports:

If you fax private medical information to a health management company in Ohio, you don’t expect it to arrive instead at a small publishing firm in Milwaukee.

Well, surprise! That’s exactly what has been happening since the summer of 2015.

Craig Berg, owner of Moose Moss Press, has tried to make it stop, but the wayward faxes just keep on coming.

Okay, but his lawyer’s claims that others’ fax errors could cost him strike me as just plain wrong:

It might be comical if it weren’t for the penalties Berg could face for possessing patient health records. There are HIPAA rules about that, and Wisconsin law says you can be nailed for $25,000 per offense.

“If you multiply that by the outrageous number of people who keep faxing him this information, I mean, my God, it could ruin him,” said Berg’s lawyer, Thomas Vaitys.

The attorney recently filed a federal lawsuit in Milwaukee to stop the flurry of faxes that are supposed to be going to EnvisionRxOptions, which calls itself a health care and pharmacy benefit management company headquartered in Twinsburg, Ohio.

Look, the entities that are misdirecting faxes could face fines, theoretically, but being the recipient of unrequested faxes does not mean that HHS can fine a non-HIPAA-covered entity. That strikes me as just so much hogwash.

Perhaps Berg should just start filing online complaints with HHS against the entities that are sending him faxes with PHI. And add a note to the complaint inquiring whether EnvisionRxOptions has sent an alert to ALL of its clients to correct their records on fax numbers, lest THEY fall afoul of HIPAA.

Read more on Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

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