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Privacy Tracker | Florida Malpractice Law Under Fire; Missouri Gov. Vetoes Database Related reading: Notes from the IAPP Publications Editor, Dec. 14, 2018

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Florida Attorneys Work To Overturn Malpractice Law
Five lawsuits filed in state and federal courts on Monday claim a new Florida state law (SB 1792) violates patients’ privacy rights. The law, which went into effect on Monday, aims to protect doctors facing malpractice suits and, according to one complaint, authorizes “unlimited and unfettered release of personal health information to those defendants without the valid consent of claimants.”

“The law allows—but does not require—any healthcare provider called as a witness to breach patient confidentiality and give the defendant's attorneys information about a patient's treatment,” reports The Miami Herald. The provision applies only to the pre-filing informal fact-finding period; once a suit is filed, court rules apply.

The suits, filed in Tallahassee, West Palm Beach and Miami federal courts and in state courts in Pensacola and Fort Lauderdale, claim this provision contravenes HIPAA.

Missouri Gov. Vetoes Workers’ Compensation Database
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon axed a bill that would have created a database of workers who have filed workers’ compensation claims in the state.

The law would’ve allowed employers to input job applicants’ names and Social Security numbers into the database to see whether they had filed a claim, the date of the claim and its status.

According to a report in The Republic, Missouri’s Division of Workers' Compensation estimated the database would start out with 554,000 records, adding about 13,000 per year.

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