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Biden announces vaccine mandate for federal employees

With the Delta variant of COVID-19 driving a new surge in infections in the United States, President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a new rule for federal employees: Get vaccinated or face regular testing and other restrictions. ... Read more»

What is the HIPAA privacy rule? A health law scholar explains

The HIPAA Privacy Rule is a federal law prohibiting health care providers, businesses and the people working with them from disclosing your health information without your permission - but it only protects information held by specific kinds of health care providers. ... Read more»

Growing pains for telemedicine after pandemic made it a hit with patients, providers

Major health systems, clinics and private practices pivoted swiftly to telemedicine when the pandemic forced the nation to shelter in place and patients could no longer safely venture into health care settings, but video services were not equally prepared for the titanic influx in users.... Read more»

Doctors now must provide patients their health data, online and on demand

A new federal rule went into effect April 5 that requires health care providers to give patients electronic access to their health information without delay upon request, at no cost, but the rollout of the rule has hit bumps as confusion and concerns reign among doctors and patients.... Read more»

Arizona high court revives suit over pharmacist joke about erectile dysfunction

Was the witty banter between a Costco pharmacist and a man’s ex-wife in good faith? The man will get a chance to prove it wasn’t.... Read more»

Bill pressures CDC to give Native Americans better access to federal health data

A measure passed by the U.S. House aims to remove barriers that Native Americans face in accessing public health data – something advocates say is key to providing a clearer picture of how COVID-19 and other diseases are disproportionately affecting tribes. ... Read more»

Court lets Yuma police, fire dep'ts know all COVID-19 cases in county

A Yuma County judge last week ordered that county’s director of public health to provide the Yuma Police and Fire departments the names and addresses of all people in the county who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those with pending test results. ... Read more»

Health gadgets and apps outpace privacy protections

In 2009, Congress asked for recommendations on what to do about information that falls outside the privacy law known as HIPAA. Tuesday, health officials released their report, but offered no suggestions. ... Read more»

Few consequences for repeat violators of health privacy law

Regulators have logged dozens, even hundreds, of complaints against some health providers for violating federal patient privacy law. Warnings are doled out privately, but sanctions are imposed only rarely. Companies say they take privacy seriously. ... Read more»

Activists pursue private abortion details using public records laws

Across the country, those who support abortion rights and those who oppose them are feuding in court over how much information should be disclosed about women undergoing abortions.... Read more»

Parents of mentally ill adult children frustrated by privacy law

Even if parents are providing health insurance, they often can’t find out about what’s happening when their adult children suffer from severe mental illnesses. ... Read more»

Reporter's notebook

Pre-existing conditions bans—are they really gone?

After receiving a letter placing her on an insurance waiting list, Kaiser Health's Julie Rovner asks, "Seriously? Wasn't the health law was supposed to end that?"... Read more»

Hacking, theft up with digital medical records

As more doctors and hospitals go digital with medical records, the size and frequency of data breaches are alarming privacy advocates and public health officials. ... Read more»