Ohio Court: HIPAA Doesn’t Protect All Medical Records

In March, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Ohio’s open records law overruled the protections for medical records under HIPAA. This decision is “possibly the first regarding a clash between states’ open records laws and HIPAA.”

The court case involved the Cincinnati Enquirer, which wanted the city to “hand over information regarding building owners who’d been cited for lead paint violations.” On March 17th, the Enquirer won: the Ohio Supreme Court “ruled unanimously that the Cincinnati Health Department was in the wrong when it used HIPAA’s privacy protections as an excuse not to provide the Enquirer with information on lead paint violations.”

Because many states have open records laws, so this outcome could “prove to be a landmark ruling should similar situations emerge in other locales.”

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