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Integrated State Health Information Systems
Techniques and Technology
Activities Under HIPAA and Beyond
Robert Gellman, Privacy and Information Policy Consultant, Washington, DC.
Mr. Gellman discussed the legal and policy background of health record confidentiality, including
Congressional efforts to legislate and the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Mr. Gellman proposed the European term of "data protection" rather than privacy as a more constructive way to view issues of confidentiality. He dispelled the myth that the doctor-patient privilege has any value in guarding privacy of information. He viewed the procedural provisions in HIPAA as mildly useful but speculated that the "wrongful disclosure" clause, because it is undefined, would not hold up in court. He suggested a "Code of Fair Information Practices" as a longer term solution.
For information on the health privacy and confidentiality recommendations of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, go to: http://aspe.hhs.gov/admnsimp/.
Fair Health Information Practices Act H.R. 52 (Introduced by Representative Gary A. Condit, D-CA).
Health Confidentiality Bibliography
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