Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 1999
Contact: Dave Nelson
(512) 463-0112

PATIENT PRIVACY BILL PASSES SENATE

AUSTIN -- Here are a few situations that might not have happened if Senate Bill 782, authored by State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and approved today by the Texas Senate, was already law:

This medical information should be private, but some companies known as pharmacy benefit managers are disclosing this type of sensitive medical for the sole purpose of marketing. Under SB 782, this action will be subject to criminal penalties of up to $10,000.

"Despite all of our efforts in the Legislature to protect patient privacy, these companies have been recklessly disseminating private medical information for the sole purpose of selling their products," Nelson said. "This practice is unacceptable and undermines our efforts to restore trust in health maintenance organizations. We do not need unscrupulous marketing firms snooping through our medicine cabinets."

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