[ Wednesday, April 28, 2004 ]
Medical record privacy and the banking industry.
While I try to keep the focus here on HIPAA, I'm also doing a fair amount of work on other "personal privacy" issues, such as those under Gramm-Leach-Bliley. GLB primarily impacts the way "financial institutions" can use personal information, including personal financial information. With the deconstruction of the depression-era Glass-Steagall law, which prevented the combination of banks and insurance companies, there was some concern that a combined entity like Citigroup (Citibank plus Solomon Smith Barney plus Travelers) would use information gleaned from the banking relationship to refuse insurance coverage. GLB was designed to prevent this cross-over of information.
Additionally, last year the President signed legislation preventing banks from using medical information to make decisions about whether to borrow funds to an otherwise qualified borrower. According the the NY Times
, federal regulations are about to be issued in this regard. While an unreconstructed capitalist might think that banks should be able to use any information they want to make lending decisions, the concerns about the misuse of personal medical and health information makes this an attractive piece of legislation. And like the early emphasis on HIPAA itself, it's hard to argue against this regulatory protection. Even the bankers know that opposing this would make them look bad.
Jeff [11:09 AM]
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