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Update on HIPAA


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HIPAA works in concert with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health, or HITECH Act (2009).

"Under the HITECH Act, the United States Department of Health and Human Services is spending $25.9 billion to promote and expand the adoption of health information technology." Wikipedia

Enforcement of this Act has been slow to materialize, but a list of the cases can be found here:

Case Examples and Resolution Agreements

An article about the $144 million jury verdict in 2013 can be found here:

HIPAA Violation Results In $1.44 Million Jury Verdict Against Walgreens, Pharmacist - Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration - United States

With all the revelations from (patriot) Edward Snowden, I'm of the opinion that we don't have too much privacy anymore -- but, if this is one of your concerns as a patient, you should ask the dispensaries you frequent about their HIPAA training. I believe employees in New Mexico are trained in this area.


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11/10/2014, Hackers suspected of Chinese government connections breach USPS database

However, analysts who spoke to the Washington Post said it's possible the hackers were also interested in other types of data – for example, the USPS photographs and keeps records of the address information on all envelopes and packages sent through the mail, on behalf of American law enforcement.

Thus, if you've sent or received any "snail mail" since approximately 2001 (when the photography program apparently first started), your own government definitely keeps that information about you on file, and now it's possible that China's government might have this information too.


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11/15/2014, INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a $1.4 million verdict against Walgreen Co. and a pharmacist who shared confidential medical information about a client who once dated her husband. Walgreen had appealed a Marion County jury's 2013 verdict awarding Abigail Hinchy $1.44 million in damages for the pharmacist's violation of a federal law's patient privacy provisions. Trial evidence showed Walgreen pharmacist Audra Withers improperly reviewed Hinchy's private health information and shared it with her husband, who then shared it with others.

Hinchy's attorney, Neal F. Eggeson Jr., tells The Indianapolis Star Friday's order is the nation's first published court decision in which a health-care provider has been held liable for an employee's violations of federal privacy law.

A Walgreen spokesman says the company plans to appeal the ruling
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