[ Friday, April 02, 2004 ]


Courts wade into the HIPAAsphere: I'll post more on this later (and get back to my epistemological discussion of how privacy and healthcare delivery are basically incompatible), but you should know that a handful of federal courts are addressing HIPAA in the context of the partial birth abortion lawsuits. Congress recently outlawed partial birth abortions, and several abortion-rights organizations have challenged the law as unconstitutional. In connection with those lawsuits, the US Department of Justice (defending the ban) have sought deidentified information from certain hospitals relating to partial birth abortions performed there. The hospitals sought court orders that they did not have to disclose the information. The resulting court decisions have rapidly reached the Circuit Court levels, and likely will end up in the supreme court.

Generally, deidentified PHI isn't PHI anymore. However, this is abortion we're talking about, so you can guess how the judicial activism is spinning.

Like I said, more in-depth discussion later. I gotta get some sleep. But I'll actually be in the office all day tomorrow (the first full day since Spring Break), so hopefully I'll get to blog some more.

Jeff [12:20 AM]

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