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HIPAA and Professional Sports Figures: Let’s Get the Record Straight

HIPAA and Professional Sports Figures: Let’s Get the Record Straight

Matt Fisher clears up some confusion related to HIPAA and individuals on Health IT Answers.

“The spotlight continues to shine brightly on HIPAA, especially as an excuse, when it comes to professional athletes responding to questions around COVID vaccine status. The most recent string of erroneous responses started strongly over the summer when NFL training camps kicked into gear. As players returned and the league indicated its intentions for health safety, questions were often posed to players to find where they all stood. Before diving into a bit from my perspective, I encourage readers to check out a similar article by Charles Curtis on ForTheWin with USA Today where I was able to provide some perspective.

As players fielded the questions, some answered, but others deflected. Deflections tried to rely on HIPAA, but that reliance was misplaced.

NFL players were only the start of the widespread HIPAA excuse though. Media days in the NBA have brought similarly misplaced statements by players. The first was Kyle Kuzma saying that HIPAA was why he would not answer a question on his vaccination status. While a tweet from Kuzma is no longer available, there is no shortage of coverage and the resulting pushback on social media. The pushback provides a bit of a silver lining because it suggests that an awareness of how HIPAA actually works is growing.

Kuzma is not the only recent example though. Dwight Howard also jumped into the HIPAA fray. Howard cited HIPAA as to why he would not discuss his opinions about the vaccine at all…”

Read the full article here.


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