If a situation comes up that you think warrants filling out a complaint with OCR it is important to follow the important steps to ensure the case can be investigated. There is a lot of paperwork and it takes a lot of time to follow a complaint and you don’t want to do it all for nothing.
The first thing to think about is wither or not you are filing a complaint towards an entity that is required by law in order to meet the terms of any privacy rule. Not all entities are required to follow the security rule so it is important to do the research on who is and who is not required to follow the regular procedures. Employers, life insurance companies, workers compensation offices, schools, many state agencies, many law enforcement companies, municipal offices are a few of the covered entities that are not required to follow the privacy rules.
The second step to think about is wither or not the situation you have come across might be a violation of any of the privacy rules. OCR cannot investigate any cases that do not violate one of the privacy or security rules. If you don’t know if it does or not then you can always follow anyway but OCR will not investigate it if it doesn’t violate one of the privacy or security rules.
The third step is a very important one and it requires the person who is making the complaint to look at the date the incident took place. If it happened earlier than April 14, 2013 then OCR will not be able to investigate it. The same thing goes for a security rule if it happened earlier than April 20, 2005.
Lastly, The person filing a complaint must be comfortable giving their name and the best way to get in touch with them when they hand in a complaint to OCR. OCR will not investigate any complaints that do not have a name and some way of getting in touch with them located on the complaint form. OCR will of course keep names and any other information confidential throughout any investigation if you fill it out on the consent form but they still need it incase they need any further information on the incident to move the case along.
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