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Privacy groups challenge HIPAA protections

Posted Oct 30 2008 3:22pm

Is the current level of privacy provided by legislation such as HIPAA in the US sufficient? A consumer group is challenging the legislation in the US to determine whether there are  further protections that can be put into place.

Exerpt: ALBANY, N.Y., Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Federal law aimed at ensuring electronic health information remains secure might not be strong enough to do the job, privacy and patient advocacy groups are arguing.

A primary goal of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 was to encourage electronic transactions among healthcare plans, doctors and hospitals while keeping patients' medical records private, but based on the experiences of other businesses, where confidential information often has fallen prey to computer hackers, the groups worry the law's protections may not be satisfactory.

"Simply put, we don't think the legal protection under HIPAA is sufficient for the technological development planned -- we're not opposed to the technology, but we feel there should be more safeguards when (transmitting) some medical information," Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C., told United Press International.

To read the full article, go to: United Press International - Health Business - Privacy groups challenge HIPAA protections.

Do you think we have gone far enough in Canada with our provincial and national privacy legislation? Do you believe that we can move forward and implement broader IT solutions while still protecting the public rights of citizens to privacy of information? To comment on this article, click ont he 'Comments link below.

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