A proposed federal rule would subject billing companies,customer service contractors and other related businesses that regularly handleprivate health records to severe fines for unauthorized disclosure of patientinformation, Reuters reports. Maximum civil penalties would be $50,000 perviolation and $1.5 million per year. Physicians, hospitals and insurancecompanies are already subject to similar rules. The Department of Health andHuman Services proposed the new rule as an extension of the Health InsurancePortability and Accountability Act. 

To read the Reuters article, click here.