Healthcare DIVE August 5, 2022
Rebecca Pifer

The Biden administration wants to lean on the decades-old privacy law to protect abortion patients. What could it actually do?

Abortion advocates and Democratic lawmakers are calling on the Biden administration to protect data on patients seeking abortion services as concerns mount that clinic and hospital information could be used to prosecute individuals who seek the procedure in states where it’s illegal.

One possible action involves the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, an oft-cited yet little-understood law that protects sensitive medical information from being disclosed without a patient’s consent or knowledge.

But HIPAA doesn’t provide the sweeping health data protections that many Americans think it does. And there’s little federal agencies can do to strengthen the law without help...

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Topics: Congress / White House, Govt Agencies, Healthcare System, HHS, HIPAA, Patient / Consumer, Privacy / Security, Provider
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