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California bill targets health record spying

Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2008

Alarmed by breaches in which UCLA Medical Center employees snooped in the confidential records of celebrities, California lawmakers moved to clamp hospital files shut with new oversight and stiffer penalties. The state Senate approved a measure that would require hospitals to draft a plan to safeguard patient information and set up a new state Office of Health Information Integrity with power to review plans and violations and assess fines of up to $250,000 against people who violate patient privacy. A companion bill would allow fines of up to $250,000 against healthcare providers in case of breaches.