[ Tuesday, November 11, 2003 ]
South Carolina case:
The South Carolina case challenging HIPAA has been turned down by the US Supreme Court. As you might recall, the South Carolina Medical Association and a few others challenged the HIPAA regulations in Federal Court in South Carolina. One of the interesting claims made by plaintiffs in the case was that HHS exceeded its authority in drafting the HIPAA privacy regulations; the regulations are really law, not regulation, since they go beyond the specific mandate of Congress and are too complex and too overbearing to be within the purview of an administrative agency. The Federal District Court found that the regulations weren't beyone the pale; plaintiffs appealed, but the Federal Circuit Court upheld the lower court. Plaintiffs appealed again, but the US Supreme Court refused to hear it.
As I recall, the Texas case (out of Houston) was shot down in Houston and at the Circuit Court level in New Orleans, and was appealed to the Supreme Court. The arguments challenging HIPAA are different out of Houston, and include the argument that the parts of HIPAA giving HHS the right to access anyone's PHI are unconstitutional. I'm betting this one gets shot down too, but we'll know soon enough.
Jeff [11:13 PM]
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