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HIPAA does not make your medical information private, it makes it Portable. Whether it has improved the protection of your digitized medical records is debatable, but it definitely forced almost every industry remotely related to medical care (and some previously unrelated industries) to digitize their records and share them.

Sure, paper medical records suck and aren't inherently more or less secure, but no one breaks into a car and runs away with 500 patients' medical histories when each patient's record fills pages, folders, or filing cabinets, rather than bytes on a hard drive (or even better, it slips away through a network connection that no one in the hospital even knew existed thanks to a back door on a piece of medical equipment).

HIPAA largely means that your medical information has been outsourced to whatever software/network/hardware provider claimed they could do the job (and whoever they outsourced the job to in some cases). If you don't sign whatever HIPAA agreement(s) your provider puts in front of you, chances are they can't treat you, so what choice do you really have?

Do you really think HIPAA is the only reason medical providers are going digital?

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