Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Clint Hermes provided insight for a Fox 17 WZTV Nashville investigative report related to vaccination records that were temporarily available for anyone to access on the Tennessee Department of Health’s website. The accessibility of private health records, such as a person’s vaccination status, to anyone other than the patient is a violation of the 1996 federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws. The Fox 17 report was investigating what federal and state laws the department might have violated with this privacy breach.
“One of the things the CDC requires of the [immunization] information systems is that they maintain confidentiality policies and information security policies. It sounds like they probably did violate their policy. I can’t imagine that their policy allows that they would be able to do this,” explains Clint.
The full story, “Which Laws TN May Be Breaking When it Comes to Vaccine Records,” was published by Fox 17 WZTV Nashville on August 25 and is available online.