While concerns were being raised in England about patient privacy (see today's previous post), there were also two interesting stories (here and here) in the New York Times about US patient privacy rules described in HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) that was passed to much fanfare in 1996. It seems that confusion about what can and cannot be disclosed may be hurting patient care. Why is anyone surprised?
And what is worse, almost no one is ever fined or prosecuted for HIPAA violations anyway. So we have a law that no one enforces, yet causes potential medical harm.That's a great two'fer, don't you think? I can hardly wait for electronic health records to hit the US.