HIPAA allows police access to patients, federal judge rules

The case highlights the interplay between state and federal laws on sharing medical information about alleged crime victims, experts say.

HIPAA privacy rules do not bar law enforcement from having access to patients who are victims of alleged crimes, a Louisiana federal judge recently ruled. The decision affirmed that police had the right to arrest a hospital case worker for obstruction of justice when she tried to stop police from questioning a patient.

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