HIPAA

Home of the Patient’s Guide to HIPAA: How to Use the Law to Guard your Health Privacy

In this guide, we talk about laws, rules, regulations, act, and statutes. Lawyers can find real and technical differences between these terms, but the differences don’t matter much to patients. For our purposes, the terms are generally interchangeable references to legally binding policies or obligations.

World Privacy Forum: California, Don’t Weaken Californian’s Health Privacy Laws

July 21, 2012 San Diego, California — Today the World Privacy Forum filed comments on California’s plan to harmonize existing California state law to federal health privacy laws. California’s health privacy law, the CMIA, offers Californian’s stronger privacy protections than national level health privacy laws. WPF urges California to reconsider its plan to weaken Californian’s privacy. Executive director Pam Dixon said “The harmonization plan coming out of California’s Department of Health and Human Services is not in harmony with California patients and their health privacy.”

US Department of Health and Human Services fines Arizona provider $100,000 for HIPAA violations

In a rare enforcement action of HIPAA, HHS fined an Arizona health care provider $100,000 for a variety of HIPAA violations, especially regarding electronic exchanges of protected health information. The HHS document outlining the reasons for the fine should act as a wake-up call to health care providers using public email, calendaring, and other tools for communication of ePHI. HHS specifically noted that the fined health care provider did not conduct an adequate risk assessment prior to using the email and Internet tools. The full HHS document is a must-read for health care providers. WPF has been warning about the need for full e-risk assessments since 2005 and strongly advocates for medical-identity-theft-specific risk assessments.