Preserving Life and Liberty In the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11,Congress sprang into action. Within a month, U.
The passage of these two acts, followed by the implementation of the HIPAA privacy rule on April 14,led to confusion for caregivers and HIM professionals as to how to respond to requests for protected health information PHI that use the phrase "homeland security" from public health departments, law enforcement agencies, federal agencies, and others.
This practice brief provides a brief analysis of the Homeland Security Act, Patriot Act, and Freedom of Information Act; background about mandatory reporting of health information; and an overview of syndromic reporting, the newest form of mandatory reporting.
In addition, this article includes practical facts to help you respond to requests for PHI.
Homeland Security Act The primary mission of the Homeland Security Act is to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism, and minimize damage and assist in recovery for terrorist attacks that occur in the United States.
It further states that PHI is protected from unauthorized disclosure and is to be handled and used only for the performance of official duties. The Department of Homeland Security boasts the first statutorily required privacy office within a federal agency. The privacy office is primarily responsible for evaluating privacy's effect on the department's programs, systems, and initiatives.
It is further required to mitigate any anticipated effect on privacy. The privacy office's objectives include: Evaluating the department's legislative and regulatory proposals that involve the collection, use, and disclosure of personally identifiable information Centralizing and providing program oversight and implementing all FOIA and Privacy Act operations Operating a privacy incident response program that addresses incidents involving personally identifiable information Responding to, investigating, and addressing complaints of privacy violations Providing training, education, and outreach that build the foundation for privacy practices across the department and create transparency 5 Patriot Act The major objective of the Patriot Act is "to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world [and] to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools" 6 by dramatically reducing restrictions pertaining to law enforcement requests to search telephone records, e-mail communication, and health records.
The Patriot Act allows for the emergency disclosure of electronic communications to protect life and broadens the definition of terrorism to include acts of domestic terrorism.
Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Patriot Act allows the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or a designee of the director to apply for an order requiring the "production of any tangible things including books, records, papers, documents, and other items for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.
Each application for a production order must be made to a judge or magistrate, and the judge must demonstrate that the records concerned are sought for an authorized investigation not concerning an American or to protect against terrorism or clandestine intelligence.
The Patriot Act should provide some comfort to privacy officers because it states, "A person who, in good faith, produces tangible things under an order pursuant to this section shall not be liable to any other person for such production.
Such production shall not be deemed to constitute a waiver of any privilege in any other proceeding or context. The provisions set to expire pertain to business records, roving wiretaps, and so-called "lone-wolf" investigations and continue to provide law enforcement agencies with broad discretion when gathering information.
Originally signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson inFOIA provides for the partial or full disclosure of unreleased information and documents controlled by the US government. It further defines all records subject to disclosure, outlines procedures, and identifies exemptions to the statute.
FOIA exemptions address sensitivity and personal rights, including: Ford's veto of the Privacy Act Amendments. The Privacy Act provides protection of records that can be retrieved by personal identifiers such as name or Social Security number.
Individuals are entitled access to records and to request correction of these records. The act prohibits disclosure of these records without appropriate written consent of the individual to whom the records pertain, unless one of the 12 disclosure exceptions within the Privacy Act applies.
The Privacy Act applies to federal agencies only and includes only records within the possession of those agencies. These amendments further define the rights of individuals requesting government records and strengthened privacy efforts.
From toFOIA had several amendments that provided agencies with the ability to withhold information from the public.Essay on The U.S. Patriot Act Introduction. The dreadful and terrifying events of September 11 necessitated and increased government's responsibility to take effective measures for preserving lives of the people and ensuring independence of the society.
The Debate Over the Patriot Act According to the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, three states (Alaska, Hawaii, and Vermont) and cities, towns and counties have passed resolutions protesting provisions of the Patriot Act.
As Patriot Act provisions expired in mid and the Freedom Act redefined the National Security Agency’s role in phone data collection, the constitutional issues of the Fourth Amendment continue to be carefully examined.
The USA Patriot Act - USA Patriot Act After the devastating attacks on the United States on September 11, , this country scrambled to take action to provide future protection. Jan 26, · Patriot Act The Patriot act has been hailed on of the most controversial bills to have been passed by the U.S.
senate. The Patriot Act was enacted in October shortly after attacks from terrorists on the United States on September 11, The Patriot Act rips this amendment right out of the constitution.
The gov't can do warrantless searches without even informing the property owner they were there. No probable cause needs to be proved, no oath taken, and no limit to what can ben searched or seized.