Privacy, Data Security, Compliance Management

HHS urged to bolster protection of health records

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been urged by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., as well as Rep. Sarah Jacobs, D-Calif., to prevent warrantless access to reproductive and other health records, as well as mandate notifications from law enforcement regarding any patient record disclosure following the agency's release of a proposed update to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act's privacy regulations, according to The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. The HHS should work to curb the sharing of health records used in investigations with other agencies and consider offering protections to patient health information that are similar to those given to location data, text messages, and phone calls, wrote the lawmakers in a letter sent to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "The ability of law enforcement agencies to subpoena these records undermines patients' legal protections, particularly in an era of digital health records, where every patient interaction is carefully documented," the lawmakers wrote.

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