Confusion Over Health Privacy Law Seen Impeding Covid Battle
Healthcare Attorney Shannon Hartsfield was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article about misuse of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) during the COVID pandemic. The law, enacted in 1996, was recently incorrectly cited by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott as they dismissed questions about whether they have received the COVID vaccine. The state of Nebraska is now referring to HIPAA as a reason the state’s health department can only release limited data on COVID, despite safe harbors in the law.
Over the years, HIPAA has become inaccurately synonymous with health privacy. “It’s just sort of a generic term people are throwing around and it doesn’t really mean what they think it means,” Ms. Hartsfield said.