N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9
Tucson, AZ 85716-3450
Phone: (800) 635-1196
Hotline: (800) 419-4777
of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto
BUSH ADMINISTRTION TO WEAKEN FEDERAL MEDICAL PRIVACY
RULE FOR ADULTS
For Immediate Release: March 22, 2002
Contact: Institue for Health Freedom - Sue Blevins 202/429-6610
Washington, D.C.-On March 21, 2002, the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it is revising the
federal medical privacy rule initially proposed by the
Clinton Administration. HHS's new "Fact Sheet" says the
revised rule is going to eliminate the requirement that says
doctors must get patients' consent before releasing
patients' health information for treatment, payment or
health care operations. That consent provision was demanded
by thousands of citizens across the country. Citizens
should get ready to read carefully the forthcoming rule that
will be published in the Federal Register next week
(according to a HHS source). The forthcoming revised rule
is going to set the federal standards for who can legally
access each and every American's personal health information
with-or without-individuals' informed consent.
For more information about the federal medical privacy rule,
visit the Institute for Health Freedom's Web site:
www.ForHealthFreedom.org. Also, following is a chronology
of the federal medical privacy rule.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE FEDERAL MEDICAL PRIVACY RULE
- 1993: Clinton health care plan ("Health Security Act" S.
1757; introduced 11/20/93) included a provision titled
"Information Systems, Privacy and Administrative
Simplification." That provision laid the groundwork for a
national health information system. It called for assigning
a "unique health identifier" to all citizens for tracking
their health information.
- 8/21/96: "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
Act" (HIPAA) [Public Law 104-191] signed into law on August
21, 1996. It includes a provision titled "Administrative
Simplification" that is very similar to the Clinton
provision proposed above, including a provision to assign
all citizens a "unique health identifier." [That provision
has been put on hold temporarily for the past four years.]
The HIPAA law mandated Congress to pass a medical privacy
law by August 21, 1999 or HHS must promulgate a rule.
- 8/21/99: Congress missed its self-imposed deadline.
- Oct. 1999: Clinton's HHS announced a proposed federal
medical privacy rule.
- 2/17/2000: Public comment period closed (more than 52,000
comments were submitted). Conservative, liberal and
libertarian organizations and individuals submitted comments
to HHS opposing third parties accessing patients' medical
information without patients' consent. However, many
medical industry groups want access to patient information
without patients' consent.
- Dec. 2000: Clinton's HHS published a final federal
medical privacy rule.
- Feb. 2001: Bush's HHS re-opens comment period for the
final federal medical privacy rule.
- Apr. 2001: President Bush approved moving forward with
final rule with plans to modify it.
- Mar. 2002: President Bush will publish a REVISED federal
medical privacy rule in the Federal Register for a (short?)
public comment period.
- Apr. 2003-2004: Health care providers, plans and
clearinghouses must come into compliance with the federal
medical privacy rule by April 14, 2003 (April 14, 2004 for
small health plans).