[ Tuesday, February 03, 2009 ]
Read the Stimulus Bill?
OK, I haven't either. But BNA tells me
(subscription required) that section 4410(e) grants authority to the 50 states' Attorneys General to enforce the provisions of HIPAA. I don't know if this monster Bill will pass (like I did with the physician-owned hospital provisions in the House version of the SCHIP bill, I suspect it will not pass as written), but if it does, this could be interesting. We will end up with behavior in one state being aggressively prosecuted, while the same behavior in another state will go unmolested.
UPDATE: By the way, here's another take on some of the other privacy provisions in the Stimulus Bill: privacy nuts like 'em, interoperability fans not so much.
Another UPDATE: the Institute for Legal Reform, a tort-reform group affiliated with the US Chamber of Commerce, has weighed in, even sending a letter to the Senate, pointing out that state AGs sometimes team up with plaintiff's lawyers to take on cases like this, so that including this provision will result in abusive lawsuits. Personally, I'm a little more concerned about having 50 different interpretations of what's acceptable under HIPAA, but after what happened when state AGs teamed up with tobacco lawyers, they may have a point.
Jeff [11:03 AM]
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