Family Law

Family Law News Issue 1, 2019, Volume 41, No. 1

HIPAA for the Family Formation Attorney

Cynthia E. Fruchtman

The Law Offices of Cynthia E. Fruchtman has maintained a law practice in the area of Assisted Reproduction Technology law since 1990, rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell and Superb 10/10 by Avvo. Her clients include donors, recipients, surrogates, intended parents, agencies, laboratories, clinics and physicians, in all aspects of gamete and embryo donation, surrogacy, and posthumous reproduction. She has also worked with the California legislature, both through her service on various bioethics committees and as a member of the Academy of California Family Formation Lawyers and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, regarding pending regulation in this area. She has spoken and written extensively at legal and medical conferences on ART related issues. Ms. Fruchtman also practices in the areas of management-side labor and employment and civil litigation. Ms. Fruchtman received her B.A. from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and her J.D. from the Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, Illinois.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA") is a U.S. law designed to, among other things, establish privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers.1 HIPAA represents a uniform, federal floor of privacy protections for consumers across the country.

The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information ("Privacy Rule") under HIPAA gives patients access to their medical records and some control over how their protected health information ("PHI") is used and disclosed.2 PHI includes all health information that identifies or provides a reasonable basis to identify an individual or that could reasonably be believed to be useful to identify the individual, in any form, including digital, paper or oral records, such as:

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