Helen Mac Murray

By Donna Loyle New federal regulations will impact the marketing practices of healthcare organizations such as health insurers, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies and others. Final modifications to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), released in August and that go into effect April 14, 2003, further limit the use of patients' personal health information (PHI) in promotional campaigns. PHI includes, among other data, a patient's name, address, diagnosis, tests undergone and test results. Beginning in April, covered entities—which include healthcare providers, health plans and healthcare clearinghouses—must obtain a patient's prior written authorization to use the consumer's PHI for marketing purposes. "The final HIPAA

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