What the heck good is this privacy policy?

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Here's an excerpt from privacy policy I just received from one of my health care providers:
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your medical information and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices. We are required to abide by the terms of the Notice of Privacy Practices currently in effect. We reserve the right to change those terms and any changes made will be effective for all medical information we maintain. A copy of a revised notice will be available from our web site at [deleted], at any of our imaging centers, or from our Privacy Coordinator by calling [deleted] or by writing to [deleted]. You may also address questions regarding our privacy practices, your privacy rights, or requests for additional information regarding your privacy to this person. (emphasis mine).

So, they are required to abide by the terms, but they can change the terms at any time without notifying me, and they will then comply with the new terms? What's the point of them notifying me of their current terms, then? (Yes, I know it's legally mandated, but what's the point of the mandate other than to create new paperwork?).

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2 Comments

Not that it really matters anyway, since a judge ruled Northwest Airlines could violate its own privacy policy with impunity.

Don't medical providers abide by the HiPAA laws, so any change in the law would result in an effective change in the privacy policy?

IOW, are you suggesting that medical providers are competing on terms and conditions in the privacy policies? My impression is that they all pretty much try to do exactly the same thing, which is what the government mandates that they do.

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