Ohio Justices to Determine whether State Law Trumps HIPAA

Here’s an interesting twist on the old federal vs. state jurisdictional dispute.

First Amendment Center is reporting:

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A newspaper wants to report on homes, many of them rented, where lead paint has harmed children. The city health department fears federal fines and penalties if it complies with the state’s open-records law.

In what attorneys say is one of the first such tests nationwide, the Ohio Supreme Court must decide if state law trumps the federal rule.

The 2-year-old federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act prohibits health insurers, medical care providers and entities that process medical information from releasing any information that identifies the patient. However, the information can be released by a public agency if a state records law mandates it.

This seems like one of those grey areas of the law where the legislature did not fully understand some of the ramifications of HIPAA legislation.

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