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Briefcase: Paramedic Body Cams & HIPAA

Guest: Barbara Evans


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Some Houston paramedics will start wearing body cameras to record interactions with patients in the field. Professor Barbara Evans is the Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Law, and explained how privacy laws might apply.

"Other people have a perfect right to photograph you when you're in a public place," Professor Evans said. "But things change if you are sick and receiving health care. Even in a public space, you have a right to medical privacy."

But, Evans says that doesn't mean that body cameras would be breaking the law. "Paramedics are regulated by medical privacy laws like the HIPAA privacy rule," she said. "HIPAA lets healthcare providers collect as much data as they need to treat the patient, including photos. But HIPAA limits sharing the photos and using them for other things, like research, without patient consent."

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