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The word from HIPAA is to keep it zipped when it comes to employee health issues.

This story appears in the March 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Did you hear that Jerry in the mail room hurt his back playing softball last week?

If you heard it from somebody who processed Jerry's insurance claim for medical treatment, you may wish you hadn't. Stringent new regulations called for by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) say that individually identifiable information maintained by an employee's health plan can only be revealed to another party for reasons relating to payment, treatment or medical operations.

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