Some are wondering if AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s comments about plans to change the company’s 401(k) plan after benefit cuts were needed because of two “distressed babies … that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK” violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Patient Privacy Rights’ Deborah Peel suggested the comments could violate HIPAA because the remarks disclosed protected health information. Wiley Rein Partner Kirk Nahra, CIPP/US, told The Wire that any possible HIPAA violation here is “mainly going to depend on where the information came from,” noting Armstrong could have based his remarks on a legal report of healthcare distributions. Nahra said the likelihood of an investigation finding a major HIPAA violation would be “exceedingly small.”
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