CHA News

CHA Files Amicus Brief Challenging HHS Online Tracking Rule

What’s happening: CHA has filed an amicus brief (friend of the court brief) with 16 other hospital associations in a lawsuit challenging a rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights. 

What else to know: The rule restricts the use of common third-party web technologies that capture internet protocol addresses on portions of hospitals’ public-facing web pages. 

The lawsuit, filed by the American Hospital Association (AHA) in November 2023, argues that the rule exceeds the government’s authority under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, violates the federal Administrative Procedure Act, and injures the people it claims to protect. 

The amicus brief focuses on the importance of these tools in hospitals’ efforts to educate patients, potential patients, and members of the public about medical diagnoses and conditions, hospital services, and related issues. Both the AHA and amicus briefs note that the challenged rule is being actively enforced by HHS against hospitals and health systems across the country, even though the federal government itself uses these purportedly prohibited technologies on their own web pages.