The State of Health Privacy: An Uneven Terrain

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Posted by Marty on August 13, 1999 at 14:45:40:

Government-maintained Records

Across the board, records held by government agencies and officials are treated differently and are usually more protected than the medical information collected and held by the private sector. In some instances, the medical records held by the government are the only records protected in statute. In effect, a state statute may impose confidentiality requirements only on public hospitals, leaving people who are treated in private hospitals without the same legal safeguards. In Oregon, for example, the statutory prohibitions on disclosure, including authorizations, apply only to public providers of health care. Private health care providers are simply "encouraged, but not required, to adopt voluntary guidelines limiting the disclosure of medical records..."

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