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A growing number of hospitals across the country are asking reporters to sign confidentiality statements. The hospitals say they are following guidelines set up this year by The Joint Commission (formerly the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations). Hospitals and the press have always had a challenging relationship, and the privacy rules in HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) further strained communications as hospitals have grown more fearful about the inadvertent release of patient information.
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