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House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Holds Hearing on HIPAA's Impact on Patient Care

The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on April 26, 2013 entitled "Does HIPAA Help or Hinder Patient Care and Public Safety?"  The purpose of this hearing was to examine the implementation of HIPAA, and whether practitioners were using HIPAA as a way to avoid disclosing information that HIPAA actually allows, which undercuts patient care and public safety.  In order to put the HIPAA issue in context, many House members and witnesses used the gun control debate to show that a large number of health records have been withheld from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System due to concerns over disclosing HIPAA-protected information.  The witnesses who testified at the hearing included Leon Rodriguez, the Director of the Office of Civil Rights with the Department of Health and Human Services, professors from various institutions, and individuals representing various stakeholder groups,  The hearing concluded with next steps being an examination of legislative changes to allow practitioners and individuals to have a better understanding of disclosures permitted and not permitted by HIPAA.
View the Full Hearing and Background Materials Here