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Abstract

This Comment explores the constructs and consequences of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1966 (“HIPAA”). HIPPA imposes considerable regulatory burdens on health care organizations in the hope that strict administration and control of information will prevent both real and perceived injuries from unauthorized and unwanted scrutiny of personal health data. In outlining the nature of HIPPA, the author presents what in her view are the Act’s shortcomings – HIPPA’s high costs, questionable benefits, and numerous economic, legal, and administrative consequences. As a result, the author presents alternatives to HIPPA that are less intrusive but still address the privacy concerns that precipitated enactment of the Act. Without deciding which particular alternative solution should replace HIPPA, the author nonetheless insists that given the significant drawbacks of the Act it should be repealed, and a less centralized, more competitive, and more effective option should take HIPAA’s place.

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