[ Tuesday, September 06, 2005 ]


HIPAA and Abortion Politics: Yes, things are different when you're Planned Parenthood. In Ohio, the state Department of Health wants records from the Central Ohio Women's Center, including patient records, in connection with an investigation it's conducting. That's pretty common in governmental oversight of the healthcare industry: doctors have to give up patient records when they're being investigated by their medical boards, licensing agencies, or hospitals where they have staff privileges; hospitals have to give up the same type of information to state hospital licensing agencies; ditto for nursing homes. And it's allowed under HIPAA, of course (see 45 CFR 164.512(e), "Uses and disclosures for which consent, an authorization, or opportunity to agree or object is not required; Standard: Uses and disclosures for health oversight activities"). And in all cases I'm aware of, the licensing agency authorized to receive the information is also allowed (and often required) to protect the confidentiality of the information.

But when the healthcare entity asked to give up the information is an abortion provider, there's a lot more resistance to giving up the information. That's abortion politics for ya.

Jeff [10:35 AM]

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