Schwarzenegger Signs Legislation To Protect Patient Privacy
On Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed legislation (SB 541, AB 211) to create a hospital privacy oversight office and to increase fines against hospitals and employees for unauthorized access into patients' private medical files, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The medical privacy measures are in response to reports that more than 100 UCLA Medical Center employees accessed the confidential medical files of famous patients, including Farrah Fawcett, Britney Spears and California first lady Maria Shriver (Rau/ McGreevy, Los Angeles Times, 10/1).
Under the new law, individuals who illegally disclose medical records and hospitals and other health care facilities where patient confidentiality is compromised could face fines from $25,000 to $250,000 (Los Angeles Daily News, 9/30).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.