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Acts Would Limit Debt Collector Data Access, Limit Patient Damage Awards

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

July 5, 2012

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has introduced an act that would limit the access debt collectors can have to hospital patients while California lawmakers could soon weaken a privacy law on patient medical records. HealthLeadersMedia reports on Franken's bill, which follows hearings he held on the debt-collection practices of Accretive Health, Inc., and Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson's allegations that they violated patient privacy and debt collection laws. Meanwhile, California's AB 439 would "exempt healthcare corporations that commit significant privacy violations from damage awards if they can provide an 'affirmative defense' when sued by patients," California Healthline reports. Consumer privacy groups oppose the bill.
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