At Law.com, “Hospitals Fear Privacy Claims Over Medical Records:”
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is raising new legal fears for health care providers in light of tougher government enforcement and recent court rulings that could trigger private lawsuits.
Labor and employment attorneys who represent health care providers are especially concerned about the prospect of private HIPAA litigation because the law does not currently provide a private right of action. But plaintiffs appear to be getting around that. They say that courts in recent years have begun letting plaintiffs use HIPAA standards to prove liability in privacy lawsuits alleging that their sensitive medical records were inadequately protected.
I’m optimistic that private action will do more than the Bush administration has done to enforce HIPAA. It’s a pretty low bar, as I joked in ‘Medical “Privacy” law.’ (What do you call a set of regulations that the government won’t enforce?
At the same time, I expect that private action will face a substantial and uphill battle, absent a financially-expressible cost.
In other news, law firm Morrison & Foerstr has a “International Data Privacy” library up, at Morrison & Forster International Data Privacy.
Oh, and the picture? Nothing to do with this blog post. Just celebrating. Because we’re not blogging for the money.