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Hospital Shares Patient Info with Fundraising Foundation

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—U.S.

June 12, 2012

Plans by the University of Iowa Hospitals to give patient names and specific treatment information to a fundraising organization is raising concerns among privacy advocates, The Des Moines Register reports. Officials say they have no ethical concerns with the campaign, the report states. The hospitals' sharing of patient data--including contact information, age, insurance status, occupation and scheduled visits for medical treatment--is legal under federal privacy laws, which allow hospitals to collect such data to target potential donors. The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy says it would like federal privacy laws relaxed in order to allow for "point-of-service information to do these kinds of solicitations."
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