Proposed federal legislation jeopardizes patient privacy.

S. K. Hoge,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law 23(4): 495-500, 1995.
In the last year there has been a move to enact federal legislation concerning private health-care information. This move has been fueled by a growing trend toward the computerization and electronic transmission of health-care information. These advances in technology call for appropriate new protections of patients' privacy. Unfortunately, the proposed legislation has not received adequate attention in the medical community. Physicians and patients in general are not aware of the legislation and have not been engaged in shaping its contents. In its current form, the legislation would seriously undermine traditional protections of confidentiality that are ensured by physicians. The flaws of the proposed legislation are examined in this article.