Promoting Health/Protecting Privacy: A Primer

Janlori Goldman and Zoe Hudson, Health Privacy Project

This primer reviews the major issues surrounding the protection of personal health information in a changing health care delivery system. It is written for health care providers, plans, consumer groups, policymakers, and the media.

January 1999

To ensure that our health care system serves to both promote health and protect privacy, a renewed and cooperative dialogue must take place among consumers, providers, health plans, employers, researchers, and other stakeholders to determine how, when, and with whom patient information should be shared.

This primer provides a broad overview of the major issues related to health privacy. It looks at what's driving the debate, the key issues, and what's at stake, and provides suggestions for what consumers, providers, and plans can do. California's unique health care landscape is described and current protections under California law are provided.

The complete report is available under Document Downloads below.