To the Editor In their Viewpoint on misconceptions surrounding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule,1 Dr Berwick and Ms Gaines2 provided an accurate diagnosis but offered a problematic prescription. There is little doubt that counterproductive HIPAA myths can impede communication and compromise care when health care organizations adopt a culture of silence.3 Denying information to treating clinicians and refusing to speak with loved ones involved in a patient’s care are neither conducive to optimal treatment nor reflective of actual HIPAA requirements. These errant practices typically emanate from draconian institutional policies, inadequate staff training, or “knee-jerk” confusion.2
Kels CG, Kels LH. Potential Harms of HIPAA. JAMA. 2018;320(22):2378–2379. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.17183
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