The Eleventh Circuit ruled that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) trumps a Florida medical privacy law. The ruling endorsed the federal statute's power over weaker state discourse rules and gave health care providers and others a vital tool to use when conducting complex but necessary preemption analyses. Many practitioners are now commenting on what the ruling means.
"This case is a great example of the difficulties covered entities and their attorneys face when trying to figure out the best way to ensure compliance with both state and HIPAA," said Healthcare and Life Sciences Partner Shannon Hartsfield. "The preemption analysis is never easy. With various laws and regulations in each state, and HIPAA layered on top, compliance is often extremely difficult.
"The court did take steps to limit this case's application to future cases by explaining that the 'required by law' provision was not considered by the court and should not be 'inferred as expressing an opinion' on that issue," said Litigation Attorney Gigi Rollini.
READ: 11th Circ. Ruling Charts HIPAA Preemption Road Map (subscription may be required)
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