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BEV BUTULA: Time for your health checkup

The Health Information & the Law website is a project of George Washington University and “is designed to serve as a practical online resource to federal and state laws governing access, use, release, and publication of health information.”

Users can select from various tabs to start their research. One tab, titled Topics, offers a list of relevant issues for those researching health law. Topic examples include health information technology, Medicare data requirements, medical records collection, retention and access, patient safety, privacy, and many more. Once a topic is selected, the researcher will find related federal and state laws and a link to additional resources and analysis.

The Federal Laws tab connects the researcher to discussion of various federal acts.

The Analysis and Resources tab allows the user to search various articles, issue briefs, and other resources. Queries by Keyword, title and author are supported. The user can also sort and refine their search results.

The portion of the website I use most often is the States tab. This is because, in addition to federal laws, most states have their own rules and regulations when it comes to health information. Researchers choose a specific state and then select from the same subjects found under the Topics tab. A concise discussion of that state’s statutes and regulations is provided. As an example, the summary for Privacy and Confidentiality in Wisconsin can be found HERE.

Only 14 states are completed so far, but the website is continually updated and expanded.

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