The Prognosis

Debates in healthcare often lack the perspectives of the emerging leaders and future stakeholders. The Prognosis makes contemporary debates in healthcare policy, medical education and bioethics more accessible to future leaders and inspires them to participate in shaping the future of healthcare. Read more at @PROGNOSISNEWS

Fix the Bureaucracy Around HIPAA, Not the Law

Something is broken in the way we protect and release electronic private health information—that is one thing no one will disagree with. It’s only natural that something should be broken given the tectonic shifts in business, technology, and information networks occurring the world over; these innovations are essentially earthquakes destined to destroy the protections and mechanisms that came before us. Depending on who you are, you probably either believe that existing rules passed by the US Department Heath and Human Services under the mandate of HIPAA 1) do not do enough to protect and limit the flow of information through ever-more channels and against ever-more powerful abusive forces, or 2) create such a bureaucratic mess that the efficient transmission of health information is detrimentally impeded. Either way one’s fears lean, both brands of critic focus on the need to massively overhaul and re-write HIPAA. But that may not be the most prudent solution—it may behoove us more to focus on overhauling the bureaucratic systems that surround HIPAA. Those with concerns about the ability of HIPAA to protect private health information have good grounds for their fears. Disturbing accounts reveal that many cases of privacy violations go unpunished and often regulators choose to only mediate those cases in which there are no violations. And many ignored cases or cases ruled not in violation may in fact represent serious breaches of...