Health Privacy Stories

What follows are but a sample of stories reported in the press about U.S. incidents affecting the privacy of personal health information. While many of these events took place prior to April, 2003 when the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountabilty Act of 1996 (HIPAA) took effect, many others here have occurred with HIPAA in force. The federal Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for HIPAA enforcement, but they have yet to impose even one civil penalty in response to the more than 20,000 complaints they have received since HIPAA became the law of the land. The Department of Justice has successfully prosecuted a total of four cases for criminal violations of the law.


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