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Earlier this month, a federal regulator launched a probe into a partnership that allowed Google to collect millions of patient records from the nonprofit hospital chain Ascension.

At the crux of the investigation: whether the companies adhered to HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The federal law governs how doctors, hospitals, and researchers can use and share personal health information — and when they have to tell patients they are doing so.

Google and Ascension have both said the initiative — code-named “Project Nightingale” — followed HIPAA.


But what kind of information does the law actually cover, and who does it apply to? We break it down in the latest episode of “The Facts, STAT!”

  • Valuable…BUT (you knew that was coming) 1) the speaker talks to rapidly for certain listeners (e.g., those in the ‘over 70’ age demographic and 2) way to much jargon for the same reason. K.I S.S.!!

  • As an Ascension patient I find it very creepy that my data is being harvested by Google with out my knowledge. We all know that every business is there to make a profit, Google and Ascension are no different. The patient data is where the money is at

  • It allows you to be screwed over due to the “admin” rights. You should never have your data aggregated and sold to any one. You should have the right, no matter who it is, to say no you can’t aggregate my data or we get a list of every person that goes into our record. There are audit trails. When you get admin going into records, we need to know. I’ve seen tons of violations that HHS doesn’t follow. This is a case of bought off politicians allowing business to write law.

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