WASHINGTON — Financial services industry representatives played down a sweeping privacy regulation that the Clinton administration issued Wednesday but warned that, if it is not enforced properly, it could affect their access to customer health information.

The regulation, which takes full effect Dec. 28, 2002, would require that doctors, hospitals, health insurers, and other medical providers disclose their privacy policies and get explicit permission from patients — an “opt in” — before sharing medical information with another entity. Banks are not covered by the rule, which applies only to businesses regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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