Carol Cruzan Morton
In Oregon and other states, mental illness and addiction may land you in jail, or worse.
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Hospital and health systems face big penalties if they do not comply with the privacy and security standards of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). So it may be astonishing to learn that the federal Privacy Rule does not apply to public records requests to Oregon public healthcare institutions, at least for now.
Ordinarily, a person’s medical records ought to be off limits to the public. On that, everyone agrees: The journalist who requested them, the state agencies who fought to keep them confidential, and the Oregon deputy attorney general (AG) who ordered the most relevant records disclosed, explaining: “This is a unique case.”