Representatives Sara Jacobs and Anna Eshoo Introduce Bill to Strengthen HIPAA in the Post-Roe Era – InsuranceNewsNet

“When we go to the doctor, we expect our personal medical information to be treated confidentially and securely,” the congressman said Sarah Jacobs. “But in our new post-Roe reality, Republican state attorneys general and other right-wing groups could weaponize existing HIPAA loopholes and target reproductive health information to prosecute extreme abortion bans. The SAFER Health Act will make HIPAA strengthen and expand to protect patients and ensure physicians are not allowed to share their personal health information related to abortion or pregnancy loss without consent.”

“In our post-Roe reality, at least 13 states have enacted draconian abortion bans that reduce access to care and put patients and caregivers at risk of prosecution,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo. “I am proud to introduce this legislation to strengthen current health privacy laws to ensure patients can talk to their doctors without fear of having their medical information used against them in court.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America President, Mini Timmaraju said, “Republican extremists across the country have made it clear: they will invade your personal privacy to punish you for seeking abortion care. They will use any means possible whether it be reading your private messages or your medical card.”. That’s why this legislation to federally protect confidential health information related to abortion is so crucial. This bill will support HIPAA to maintain patient confidentiality as they make their own decisions about their bodies and lives. We thank Representatives Jacobs and Eshoo for this important legislation and push Congress to go through it quickly.”

Alexis McGill Johnsonchairman and general manager, Planned Parenthood Federation of America said: “Everyone should have the right to make personal decisions about their reproductive health care and future. And when they make those decisions, their privacy and safety should be respected and protected. Anti-abortion lawmakers have made it clear they will stop at nothing to take away our rights, increasingly putting patients’ personal information about reproductive health at risk.The Safe Access for Essential Reproductive Health Act is an important step in protecting the privacy of patients when they access essential and time-sensitive health care.”

Carmel ShacharJD, MPH, Executive Director, The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law PolicyBiotechnology and Bioethics Harvard Law School said, “HIPAA provides much-needed privacy and security for medical records. However, in the changing landscape of reproductive rights, it provides limited protections for people seeking abortion care, even if they travel to states that allow these services. This bill proposes to give patients have better control over their reproductive information, allowing them to enjoy the privacy protections we all expect as we work with our physicians to pursue the care we need.”

dr. Jamila Perrittchairman and CEO of Reproductive health doctors said: “No one should be threatened or monitored for their health needs, and that includes abortion care. While healthcare providers are already bound by privacy regulations such as HIPAA, this legislation is an important step in making it clear that it doesn’t matter if someone is pregnant or has lost a pregnancy, there is no obligation to share information about a person’s health with law enforcement or to participate in investigations, and monitoring of their health.”

Megana RaoMD, Chairman of the Board, Doctors for America said, “Doctors for America applauds Representatives Eshoo and Jacobs’ introduction of the Secure Access for Essential Reproductive (SAFER) Health Act. This move is an important step toward addressing the concerns we’ve heard from many of our physician leaders and our patients about the unauthorized sharing of reproductive health information and its potential consequences. We are grateful for measures vying to ensure patients’ personal health information is private and protected everywhere.”

The SAFER Health Act would:

* Prohibit HIPAA covered entities and their business partners from disclosing personal health information related to termination of pregnancy or loss in procedures without valid patient consent;

* Apply to federal, state, local or tribal proceedings, including civil, criminal, administrative or legislative proceedings;

*Direct HHS to review HIPAA and health information technology regulations necessary to enforce the law; and

*Direct HHS to conduct a national campaign to inform covered entities and their business partners of the revisions.

The SAFER Health Act is endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Reproductive health doctorsDoctors for America, National Partnership for women and families, Stanford Healthcare, Stanford Medicine Children’s Healthand URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equality.

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Original text here: https://sarajacobs.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=682

Representatives Sara Jacobs and Anna Eshoo Introduce Bill to Strengthen HIPAA in the Post-Roe Era – InsuranceNewsNet

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