NSA Not HIPPA Compliant
The big thing in health care the last several years has been compliance with the HIPPA rules. These rules regulate the privacy of patient medical records. The average person is exposed to HIPPA regulations with those privacy notices every time they see a new doctor or have a prescription filled. Every way in which patient information might be shared with others, such as other health care institutions and business associates such as billing services, must be disclosed. While all of us in the health care profession are bound by the rules, NSA apparently is not bound by patient privacy or requirements for such disclosure.
AP reports that “The National Security Agency could have legally monitored ordinarily confidential communications between doctors and patients or attorneys and their clients, the Justice Department said Friday of its controversial warrantless surveillance program.”
I never realized that the LDL level of one of my patients could be a threat to national security. (In the post-Ben Domenech blogosphere I should note that credit for this last line belongs to my wife, and office HIPPA contact).