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PWW EMS Law Monthly Tip of the Week: HIPAA "Overkill" Should Not Delay EMS Response

In the October 17th-19th issue of USA Today, a page one story titled "Medical Privacy Law Creates Wide Confusion" tells the tale of the confusion created by the HIPAA Privacy Rule, with a front-and-center example of how this confusion has led to delays in EMS care. We certainly agree with the theme of the article that HIPAA is confusing and overly complex, and, when wrongly interpreted, may actually hinder the delivery of patient care in ways it was never intended to. The article's key example is the case of an ambulance service in Colorado that was delayed in arriving at the scene of an emergency, reportedly because the crew refused to give the name of the patient to an area resident who...

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