I make it a practice to stay away from politics. This political season is no exception. But as a healthcare marketer and blogger who occasionally writes about HIPAA, I can’t help but notice that HIPAA (not HIPPA) has now become part of the political conversation. Recently there have been several articles from national publications (online and traditional) pondering whether or not Donald Trump’s physician (Dr. Bornstein) has been violating HIPAA by using Windows XP – a platform that is no longer supported by Microsoft. The old Windows XP platform may no longer meet requirements for information systems containing private health information. According to media reports, Windows XP is widely viewed as an unsafe platform. (Of course, the real question is why does the media care whether or not Dr. Bornstein is HIPAA compliant.)
How did this conversation about HIPAA originate? Evidently, while reviewing recent NBC News video footage of Dr. Bornstein where his computer monitor was visible in the background, Deadspin’s Tum Burke noticed that the physician uses Windows XP. The rest is history.
This has all been happening in the context of the most ridiculous campaign season I have ever witnessed. Whoever came up with the expression “truth is stranger than fiction” would marvel at the current political environment. Donald Trump’s physician has penned a very strange letter attesting to his patient’s extraordinary health, while Hillary Clinton’s health is being questioned by any number of sources. I expected HEALTHCARE to be an issue in this election. I fully expected the Affordable Care Act to be a point of contention. However, it is now evident that the health of the candidates, questions about how forthcoming they are regarding their health, and the practices of their physicians are to be part of the discourse. We definitely live in interesting times!