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      A Privacy Law Often Misinterpreted

      Apr 09, 2013
      A March 27 blog posting in The New York Times highlighted how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) information-sharing restrictions are often misunderstood or misused. The blogger recounted a time when her sister went to an emergency room for severe abdominal pain and – despite her sister’s requests for the blogger to accompany her to the exam room – the nurse refused, citing HIPAA as the reason. According to the article, HIPAA is meant to protect the patient – not the medical provider or institution – so it doesn’t prevent patient information from being shared unless the patient specifically objects. The article directs people who feel the act is being abused to complain first to the institution’s administrators or patient advocates and, if needed, to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Department of Civil Rights. Additionally, the article notes that the HHS is a good source for factual information about HIPAA.

      A March 27 blog posting in The New York Times highlighted how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) information-sharing restrictions are often misunderstood or misused. The blogger recounted a time when her sister went to an emergency room for severe abdominal pain and – despite her sister’s requests for the blogger to accompany her to the exam room – the nurse refused, citing HIPAA as the reason. According to the article, HIPAA is meant to protect the patient – not the medical provider or institution – so it doesn’t prevent patient information from being shared unless the patient specifically objects. The article directs people who feel the act is being abused to complain first to the institution’s administrators or patient advocates and, if needed, to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Department of Civil Rights. Additionally, the article notes that the HHS is a good source for factual information about HIPAA.

      More: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/27/a-privacy-law-often-misinterpreted/

      The Washington Policy Brief is an online advisory that contains brief summaries of recent legislative and regulatory issues that may affect the records and information management profession. Further information about the issue is accessed by clicking on the link provided at the end of each summary.

       

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