The ACLU and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law submitted these comments to the Department of Health and Human Services, in response to a request for information on Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) regulations. The comments urge HHS not to modify the existing rules in ways that would weaken their important privacy protections. Doing so would deter people from seeking treatment and cause predictable harms, particularly for people with mental health disabilities, substance use disorders, HIV, Hepatitis C, and other conditions, treatments, histories, and statuses that are associated with social stigma and discrimination.
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