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Tighter Medical Privacy Rules Sought

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

August 23, 2010

The New York Times reports on the Obama administration's rewriting of medical privacy rules due to criticism of those proffered last year at this time. At the urging of the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services recently withdrew the temporary rules for further consideration, the report states. Chief among criticisms of the rules was the harm threshold provision, which would let healthcare providers and insurers determine whether to notify patients of a privacy breach based on potential harm. "Harm is in the eye of the beholder," said Deven McGraw of the Center for Democracy and Technology. Senior lawmakers told HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that the rules were "not consistent with Congressional intent." (Registration may be required to access this story.)   
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