How to blog about interesting cases without running afoul of HIPAA

This is very pertinent to me and any other doctor-bloggers who on occasion discuss interesting cases on their blogs or use patients as examples, as I've done in the past. Apparently, if you follow these rules, you should be able to continue doing so without running afoul of HIPAA privacy regulations.


  1. Hey I work in HIM so thanks for the tip :-)

  2. Orac:
    Do you think that applies to insurance guys too? We have to follow some of the same guidelines.

  3. thanks, Orac--that's useful.

  4. 1. I can't imagine this would become a problem unless someone's confidentiality were actually breached; ie, if you wrote about a 56yo female from Los Angeles, I don't think the Feds are gonna come after you.

    2. Conversely, I wouldn't view these as a safe haven in every case. Imagine this HYPOTHETICAL case study: "A middle-aged man from Florida sought help for an addiction to OxyContin, which was interfering with his employment as a syndicated talk-show host." None of the 18 identifiers were used, but certain individuals could understandably be rather miffed if such were published. Just my opinion. IANAL.


  5. moici, aren't you forgeting about #18: Any other unique identifying ...characteristic...


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