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Medical records breached despite privacy law

Clark Kauffman of The Des Moines Register reports that in the past five years, 38,000 Americans, including 267 Iowans, have complained of medical-privacy violations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. More than half of those complaints nationally have been disposed of with no investigation. Until last year, no one nationally ever was prosecuted for violating HIPAA. Kauffman used state unemployment records to provide readers with the names of specific hospitals and caregivers who snooped through the medical records of HIV-positive men, pregnant teenagers, victims of domestic violence and emergency-room patients.

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