[ Tuesday, November 05, 2002 ]


Remember when the revisions to the Privacy Rule came out back in the spring, and the Senate had that blab-fest with Hillary and Teddy pounding the table and Loriann Goldman from the Georgetown Privacy Project whining about how evil John Ashcroft was stealing away the common man's and woman's medical record privacy by removing the consent requirements? Well, around the middle of last month, before everyone left to campaign, reps. Ed Markey (D-MA), John Dingell (D-MI), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Howard Berman (D-CA) and Michael Capuano (D-MA) introduced the "Stop Taking Our Health Privacy Act of 2002," to be affectionately known by the idiotic acronym "STOHP." The legislators want to reintroduce the consent requirement. As it is now, patients have to receive -- and sign for -- a NOPP (notice of privacy practices) that outlines what their privacy rights are and how their information will be used. What a consent adds is entirely beyond me.

The common phrase is that ignorance of the law is no excuse. Here, the applicable language must be that there's no excuse for the ignorance of the lawmakers.

To see the bill, go here and search for "STOHP".

UPDATE: With the results of the election basically meaning that the chairmen of those committees ain't chairmen no more, the chances of STOHP going forward are slim and none. From HIPAANews: With the return of a Republican majority in the Senate, Judd Gregg of (R-NH) will take over from Kennedy as the HELP [Health Education, Labor and Pensions] Committee Chairman. The New York Times reports "the new lineup would considerably alter the approach of the various panels." Duh.

Jeff [12:48 PM]

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