Panelists at a health privacy event in Washington this week agreed the stakes are high when it comes to electronic records and healthcare privacy, Government Health IT reports. "Unfortunately, we have laws on the books that do not put the patient first," said one panelist. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT confirmed at the event that the final HIPAA omnibus rule will be released by summer's end. Meanwhile, Office for Civil Rights Director Leon Rodriguez says tolerance for noncompliance with HIPAA is "much, much lower" than it has been in the past, and a National Health Council study found federal privacy laws are hindering medical research, prompting questions about whether the rule goes too far.
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