by Jeff Sovern
You know those bulletin boards you used to see at some doctors' offices with snapshots of babies they had either treated or delivered? Well, last week, the Times ran an article, Baby Pictures at the Doctor’s? Cute, Sure, but Illegal about how display of the photos where patients and others could see them violates HIPAA, the federal law protecting patient privacy. Today the Times published my letter responding to the article. It says, in part:
You report that federal privacy laws block doctors from posting pictures of patient babies where others can see them. Surely parents sending baby pictures to physicians do not expect the photos to be secret.
The law should be amended to permit their posting, unless parents request that they be kept private. This is the type of regulation that fuels claims that government is the problem.
If you find this interesting, the other letters on the matter are worth reading also.