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News Release

Public Hearing on Federal Medical Privacy Rule and Patient Consent

August 21, 2001

On Tuesday, August 21, the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), Subcommittee on Privacy and Confidentiality, held a public hearing to discuss modifying the federal medical privacy rule that was published December 20, 2000 and recently approved by the Bush Administration. The federal rule went into effect on April 14, 2001 and covers nearly every citizen—whether health care is paid for privately or federally funded.

Panelists examined how the new rule affects health care ethics and whether individuals' consent should be required before releasing personal health information for various purposes. The panel on consent was part of the NCVHS, Subcommittee on Privacy and Confidentiality meetings scheduled for August 21 through 23, 2001 in Washington, D.C. Meetings will be held in Room 705-A, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201.

The first panel of witnesses who spoke about consent issues included the following:

  • Mary Henderson, HIPPA Project Leader, Kaiser Permanente
  • Sharon King Donohue, J.D., General Counsel, National Council on Quality Assurance
  • Bruce Kelly, Director, Government Relations, Mayo Foundation, on behalf of Healthcare Leadership Council
  • Sue Blevins, President, Institute for Health Freedom
The NCVHS meetings are open to the public and also can be heard on the Veterans Administration Web page at: For information about the meetings, visit the NCVHS web site: