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Privacy Act Protects Some Practices With Patient Data Breaches

The Office for Civil Rights cited a 36-year-old privacy law as the reason why it cannot post on its breach notification Web site the names of private practitioners who report breaches of unsecured PHI affecting 500 or more individuals. OCR writes in an e-mail to HealthLeaders Media that private practitioners who report these major breaches of unsecured PHI are considered "individuals" as defined by the Privacy Act of 1974.

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