USA Today Examines ‘Miniboom’ for Health Care Technology Industry Related to HIPAA Expenditures
USA Today examines increased expenditures from hospitals, health insurers and physicians to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act medical privacy rule, a trend that has led to a "miniboom for a slice of the tech industry" (Kessler, USA Today, 6/9). The rule allows providers to share the records for the purposes of treatment and other "health care operations." Under the regulation, providers must obtain consent from patients before they can disclose medical records in "nonroutine" cases. However, providers do not have to obtain written consent before they disclose medical records. Providers only have to inform patients of their new rights and make a "good faith effort" to obtain written acknowledgment from patients that they have received the information (California Healthline, 4/24). Health care organizations will spend between 0.1% and 0.5% of their total annual revenue on HIPAA compliance technology, and the expenditures will likely continue for several more years, as some HIPAA requirements do not take effect until 2005, USA Today reports. For example, the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System plans to spend $4.2 on HIPAA compliance from July 2002 to June 2004, and HMO Kaiser Permanente plans to spend "tens of millions" on HIPAA compliance, USA Today reports. IBM officials said that HIPAA and other regulations have increased health care sales by more than 10% in the past two years. In addition, the health care business of Hewlett-Packard has increased "in the midsingle digits," Paul Gerrard, vice president of the company, said (USA Today, 6/9).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.