'Baby Boards' deemed illegal
While the photographs of babies posted at Columbia University's Center for Reproductive Care may be cute, it turns out they're also illegal.
An article published in the New York Times reports how baby boards, a common fixture in obstetrician office around the country, don't comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and must be removed. The law, more commonly referred to as Hipaa, considers baby photographs to be protected health information (like medical charts,) and the Department of Health and Human Services says images can't be posted without written authorization. Despite offices receiving photos from families on daily basis, they can't display them without a signed form.
Dr. Mark Sauer of the Columbia Medical Center told the Times, "I've had patients ask me, 'Where's your baby board?' We just tell them the truth, which is that we no longer post them because of concerns over privacy."
Columbia medical center has taken down all baby pictures, except the one on their website. But that is a photo of a model.
A spokesperson for the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services said she was not aware of any medical office that had been fined over the issue.