In a case weighing privacy vs. free speech, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a Vermont law that requires physicians to give their consent before information about their prescription-writing habits can be sold to help market prescription drugs.
As the Sony and Epsilon breaches show, privacy is now in the news media every day. And organizations need to be prepared to address the issue, says Trevor Hughes, executive director of the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
The California Supreme Court has ruled that a key provision of a tough state medical privacy law is not preempted by federal regulations. The evolving case, which eventually could wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court or grow into a class action case at the state level, is worth watching.
"Overall, this draft is not balanced," Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said at a hearing on the measure "It gives businesses too many protections and consumers not enough. It preempts strong state laws and replaces them with a weak federal one."
Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk Inc. has agreed to a $1.725 million civil settlement agreement to resolve allegations that the company accessed and misused private patient information and filed false or fraudulent Medicaid claims.
If you need one more reason to take additional steps to prevent health information breaches, here's something to consider. An attorney argues that if breaches, and their high costs, are not brought under control, "I think where we are headed is to an insurance crisis."
After hearing objections from hospitals and physicians about a proposed "opt-in" approach to obtaining patient consent for health information exchange, the Maine legislature has passed a rewritten measure that spells out rules for an "opt-out" approach.