Seventeen state hospital associations and 30 hospitals and health systems Jan. 12 filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting the AHA in its lawsuit challenging a Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights rule that restricts the use of standard third-party web technologies that capture IP addresses on portions of hospitals’ public-facing webpages. The groups say the rule threatens crucial tools that hospital websites use to disseminate reliable health information to the public, noting that the federal government uses the same types of tools, and that outlawing them would create a vacuum for misinformation.

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