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HHS: Certain Photos Will Not Bring HIPAA Violations

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—U.S.

March 9, 2010

In the wake of a recent case where several hospital employees were disciplined for sharing cell phone photographs of a shark attack victim, medical professionals are questioning whether patient photos by friends and family could trigger HIPAA violations, HealthLeaders Media reports. One issue the report raises is whether visitors with camera phones in emergency rooms or hospitals are putting those facilities at risk. The report points out that while healthcare plans and providers are responsible for their employees' actions, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Civil Rights states that in general under HIPAA, they "would not be responsible for the actions by a patient's friends or family."
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