Health Care Industry Should Not Try to Derail Medical Privacy Rules
In light of insurers' and providers' complaints that new medical privacy regulations are a "hardship," a San Diego Union-Tribune editorial asks, "[W]hy is it that obtaining a patient signature poses such a burden on the health care industry?" The editorial says that one "plausible explanation" might be that providers and insurers "want no restrictions on their prerogative to use and disclose personal medical records as they see fit, without the knowledge of patients." But the "problem with this position is that it ignores the rampant abuses of patient privacy," the editorial states. While the new regulations are set to take effect in two weeks, the editorial notes that the health industry has lobbied the Bush administration to delay and revise the rules, "if not kill them altogether." The editorial concludes by urging the Bush administration not to delay the rules, unless "as the health care industry suggests, they prove overly costly or cumbersome." In that case, the administration "should consider revising them" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.