CA proposes medical record privacy rules

The California legislature is considering a new bill that imposes health data privacy protections above and beyond those already required by HIPAA, alarmed by a recent rash of medical record snooping taking place at UCLA Medical Center. Legislators are responding to unauthorized peeping by employees at a wide range of records, including those of celebrities such as California First Lady Maria Shriver, Britney Spears and Farrah Fawcett.

Under a Senate measure, hospitals would be required to draft a plan to protect patient information. Meanwhile, the state would set up a new Office of Health Information Integrity, which would have the power to review plans and violations, as well as assess fines of up to $250,000 against people who violate patient record privacy. A companion bill, for its part, would allow fines of up to $250,000 against providers who breach patient record privacy.

To learn more about the bills:
- read this Los Angeles Times piece

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