'Health Care'-Related Calls: Ambiguity at the Intersection of HIPAA and TCPA

By: Anne O'Hagen Karl | Helen R. Pfister
– Bloomberg BNA Privacy and Security Law Report 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established exemptions from certain requirements of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for health care messages regulated under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Although this exemption initially appears to give health care providers broad latitude in calling or texting patients, there is ambiguity as to the scope of the exemption. Specifically, the TCPA exemption applies to ''health care'' messages regulated under HIPAA, but HIPAA does not expressly define ''health care'' messages. The different uses of terminology may create confusion for providers and health insurers.

Reproduced with permission from Privacy & Security Law Report, 13 PVLR 1756, 10/13/2014. Copyright 2014 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com