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The Legal Implications of HIPAA Privacy and Public Health Reporting for Correctional Facilities

J Correct Health Care By Nicholas H. Meza (Co-author)

Below is an excerpt:

Inmates in cramped living quarters, a situation common to correctional facilities, are especially vulnerable to disease. Cramped living conditions, coupled with above-average rates of HIV, tuberculosis, and other communicable diseases, increase inmates' risk of problematic health outcomes. Thus, high-quality health care and sustained efforts to prevent disease are especially important to improve inmate health within correctional facilities. Compliance with federal privacy restrictions pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule and state disease reporting requirements will foster inmate health and assist efforts to prevent the spread of disease. This article examines the interplay between HIPAA rules and state reporting laws to preserve health information privacy and to control the spread of disease.