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Schwarzenegger says hospitals can be fined for privacy breaches

October 2, 2008 by  

Patient records should remain private, governor saysCalifornia governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation that gives a state office the right to fine hospitals that do not adequately protect patient privacy.

One bill approved by the governor creates an office to oversee the privacy of patient records, while the other specifies the potential for issuing fines up to $250,000.

"Repeated violations of patient confidentiality are potentially harmful to Californians, which is why financial penalties are needed to ensure employees and facilities do not breach confidential medical information," Schwarzenegger said, according to the LA Times.

Dave Jones, who authored one of the bills, said that "private medical information shouldn’t be flapping in the breeze like an open hospital gown."

The legislation also increases the amount that hospitals may be fined for medical mistakes that imply other patients may also be harmed.

Earlier this year, an employee at UCLA Medical Center was discovered to have breached security rules by accessing dozens of patient records without permission, including those of Schwarzenegger’s wife, Maria Shriver.
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  • Eric g

    Medical confidentiality can kill you . In Europe the doctors in the Hague court kept a secret of Serbian president Milosevic’s blood test . They kept the secret from him too , for three months , of a powerfull drug that would block his high blood preasure treatment . It worked , He died . When asked why they kept this secret ? the Hague doctors claimed they thought it was against the law to tell anyone about someone elses blood test . Milosevic won evrey round in his court trail . I guess he even won the last round , becuase it was not really against the law to tell the patient . So Milosevic was right again , only this time he was dead right ,which is the highest right you can get , He was so right ,The Serbian Orthadox Church claimed him as one of their own and gave him the highest funeral they could .

  • Bob

    Freedom. Who violates the freedom to be private. How much do we need private people truly reaching for a sense of centredness and perspective? Our best pople need the ability to close their eyes and not have a camera or a PERSON IN THEIR faces. Finding truth and thinking origional thoughts is not only for those who can keep the the parasitic paparazzi away with elaborate security.

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