Hospital associations sue HHS over pixel tracking ban

The American Hospital Association, the Texas Hospital Association and two health systems filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over new guidance that prohibits hospitals and other healthcare providers from using tracking tools to monitor visitors on their websites.

The lawsuit, joined by Arlington-based Texas Health Resources and Wichita Falls, Texas-based United Regional Health Care System, alleges that the agency exceeded its jurisdiction when it released guidance in December limiting hospitals from using third-party web technologies that collect IP addresses on sections of their publicly accessible web pages related to health conditions or healthcare providers, according to a Nov. 2 news release from the AHA. 

The organizations are seeking a permanent injunction to prevent HHS from implementing the guidance, according to the lawsuit.

This comes at a time where many hospitals and health systems in the U.S. are facing lawsuits that allege that third-party tracking tools on their websites and patient portals have been sending patient information to tech giants like Meta and Google. 

In July, HHS' Office for Civil Rights and the Federal Trade Commission released the letters that were sent to 66 hospitals and health systems warning them that their websites may be using these tracking tools.

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