Watch: What is HIPAA, and what does it cover?
At the crux of the investigation: whether the companies adhered to HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The federal law governs how doctors, hospitals, and researchers can use and share personal health information — and when they have to tell patients they are doing so.
Google and Ascension have both said the initiative — code-named “Project Nightingale” — followed HIPAA.
But what kind of information does the law actually cover, and who does it apply to? We break it down in the latest episode of “The Facts, STAT!”