I wanted to circulate this great Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) fact sheet produced by some smart and dedicated people I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with in the past, including the folks at AHIMA, ANI, GetMyHealthData, Flip the Clinic, and Waldo Law Offices. Hat tip also to Deven McGraw and others at the US Office of Civil Rights (OCR) for recent clarifications of HIPAA.
So often HIPAA is cited as a barrier to health information sharing. Part of the problem is that it is widely feared and misunderstood. HIPAA does, in fact, put protections in place to protect the privacy of information, but that shouldn’t be confused with effectively freezing it. As Leon Rodriguez (formerly head of OCR) and Farzad Mostashari (formerly my boss at ONC–Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology) have said:
HIPAA is a valve, not a blockage.
These who don’t understand, particularly in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, often default to locking down access to health data that rightfully belongs to patients and their delegates, and that may be of critical, even life saving importance.
So I love this resource that tells it like it is! Share it widely, please.