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HIPAA protects health data privacy, but not in the ways most people think

February 16, 2024
Contributed by: Drex DeFord
"P" in HIPAA denotes portability, not privacy, allowing health data transfer between providers. Misunderstandings impair recognizing its actual scope. HIPAA devised primarily for providers and insurance companies' operations doesn't cover all assumed aspects. Limited scope covers specific entities and data, not including, for example, a fitness app's information. Originally, HIPAA designed for medical record health data now struggles to match current data exchanging state. Personal data becoming health identifiers has resulted in state-specific laws surpassing HIPAA's coverage to protect wider health data footprint. Washington State's My Health My Data Act shields personal health data beyond HIPAA's scope, including forbid data sales without consent and enabling health data deletion upon request. Law's effectiveness and influence remain unseen.
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