Health Information Management

Is California harmonizing privacy laws - or softening them?

HIM-HIPAA Insider, July 30, 2012

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Is one of the toughest states for privacy laws softening?

Some may say that about California’s pursuit of “harmonizing” its state privacy laws with the federal HIPAA laws. But Golden State officials merely say it’s an effort to eliminate the problems caused by the disparity of federal and state laws in the field of health information exchange. And they say they are following the lead of other states such as Texas and Kansas which have already gone down this road.

The teams leading the charge, California’s Privacy and Security Steering Teams (PST and SST), are under the direction California Office of Health Information Integrity (CalOHII). They want to “harmonize” the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act with HIPAA.

“New health information technologies raise new consumer privacy and provider liability concerns that existing laws were never originally created to address,” the teams wrote in a report. “Failure to effectively address these critical concerns could lead to limited participation by patients, providers and vendors in health information exchange, costly legal conflicts, and regression back to inefficient and costly paper based information systems.”

Click here to read more on the HIPAA Update blog.



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