JS Online: New law limits details on injured troops

This article points out another consequence of HIPAA – reporting battlefield casualites and injuries about specific soldiers is covered under HIPAA.

JS Online: New law limits details on injured troops

Implemented about a year ago, HIPAA prohibits hospitals and other health care providers from releasing information about a patient without consent from the patient or next of kin. It also is intended to give people more control over their health records.

But the law’s far-reaching implications have, in some cases, prompted public health officials to withhold information about communicable disease outbreaks, hospitals to refuse clergy information about ailing parishioners, and nurses to hesitate to leave information on a patient’s telephone answering machine.

Now, military officials are citing the law in refusing to identify soldiers wounded in Iraq or disclose details about their injuries.

“In an effort to protect everyone’s privacy, we’re pseudo-censoring what information we put out,” he said. “It definitely seems that it’s having effects that the people who created it didn’t intend.”

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