Some U.S. states are reviewing their policies around the collection and sale of health information to ensure that some patients can't be identified in publicly available databases of hospital records.

Washington suspended distribution of the information and developed a confidentiality agreement that all buyers must now sign, according to Donn Moyer, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Health. Bloomberg News, working with Harvard University professor Latanya Sweeney, reported on June 4 that some patients of Washington hospitals could be identified by name and have their conditions and procedures exposed when a database sold by the state for $50 is combined with news articles and other public information.

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