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Public Health Information Management, Privacy and Security

Chicago Sun-Times v. Cook County Health & Hospitals System


Chicago Sun-Times v. Cook County Health & Hospitals System (Ill., Nov. 30, 2022): The Illinois Supreme Court held that information concerning years of gunshot-wound patient admissions and corresponding law enforcement notifications were not exempt from disclosure under either the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The dispute arose after the Cook County Health & Hospitals System refused to comply with a newspaper’s request for records reflecting the times and dates patients with gunshot wounds were admitted to the hospital and law enforcement officials were notified. The court emphasized that FOIA should be “liberally construed” to allow public access to information Further, revealing only the year patients were admitted to a hospital does not constitute the release of identifying information that would be prohibited under HIPAA or Illinois state statutes protecting patient privacy. Read the full decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – February 15, 2023.

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