Over one-third of states appear to have more stringent medical privacy laws than HIPAA (federal), which could hinder primary care and mental health providers' efforts to share information and integrate care.
Incentives to participate in wellness programs or reach health-related targets are popular, but could expose employers and insurers to litigation risk because incentives might violate state and federal insurance, anti-discrimination, or privacy laws.
More than a decade after passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), concerns about the privacy and security of personal health information remain a major policy issue. Now, the emergence of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) presents deeper underlying privacy challenges, which will require renewed attention from policymakers as federal and state privacy rules need to be revisited.
As it considers ways to improve the efficiency and quality of U.S. health care, one issue that a new Congress should reconsider is the longstanding roadblock that has stalled efforts to create a system of unique patient identification numbers for every person in the United States, writes Richard Hillestad.
The Privacy Rule is fundamentally changing the way that healthcare providers, health plans, and others use, maintain, and disclose health information and the steps that researchers must take to obtain health data.