Los Angeles Times, April 9, 2008
Congress' passing of a federal medical privacy law in the 1990s was hailed as a new level of protection for patients nationwide. But even though the government has received about 34,000 complaints of privacy violations since in the last five years, only a handful of defendants have been criminally prosecuted. Critics say the government's approach may be too lenient, especially when medical records are increasingly being shifted from file folders to computers. The goverment's current approach focuses on getting providers to correct violations.