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Opinion: Enforcement Key to Protecting Patient Data

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—U.S.

May 12, 2010

In an editorial, the St. Petersburg Times reports on recent data breaches involving the healthcare records of Tampa Bay area citizens, which, the editors say, suggest "the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is falling far short of its promise to protect and enforce patient privacy." One of the breaches involved patients' records being sent to a citizen's home fax machine. Another citizen received in the mail records from two insurance companies. In both cases, repeated calls to correct the breaches went unanswered until recently, prompting the editors to ask, "What good is a law when the government won't enforce it?"
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