California Governor Signs Bills That Protects Hospital Patient Privacy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation Oct.1 that punishes hospitals and other health facilities if their employees pry into patient medical records without authorization, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The legislation was prompted after the Times reported that more than 100 employees at UCLA Medical Center snooped into the confidential medical files of famous patients, such as Farrah Fawcett, Britney Spears and the governor’s wife, Maria Shriver.

Schwarzenegger signed two bills, AB 211, written by Assemblyman Dave Jones (D-Sacramento), and SB 541, written by Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara).

AB 211 focuses on the protection of all patients, not only the famous ones.

The measures include allowing the state to fine hospitals as much as $250,000 for multiple violations.

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