Concerns Surround Medical Records Privacy Issues

The Wall Street Journal: Poor Prognosis For Privacy
The sharing of Americans' health information is set to explode in coming years, with millions of patients' medical records converted to electronic form and analyzed by health-care providers, insurers, regulators and researchers. That has prompted concerns over privacy—and now, new federal rules that aim to give patients more control over their information are posing technical and administrative problems for the doctors and hospitals that have to implement them. … The new rules are part of a revision of the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA. They went into effect in March, but providers have until Sept. 23 to comply. One key new provision requires doctors and hospitals not to disclose medical information to a patient's insurer if the patient requests it and pays for the services out-of-pocket (Beck, 5/1).

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