Monday, June 4, 2012

New Website Offers Resources on State and Federal Privacy Laws

Check this out:

As described on the website: the George Washington University’s Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program, Health Information and the Law (, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has developed a to serve as a practical online resource to federal and state laws governing access, use, release, and publication of health information.

Find here:

It is expected to be “constantly” updated, and the site will address “the current legal and regulatory framework of health information law and changes in the legal and policy landscape impacting health information law and its implementation with commentary and key documents.”

Here’s why:

“Health information law exists at the intersection of many crucial and interrelated fields: law, health care, consumer protection, information technology, public health, insurance. Each small change can trigger a daunting set of issues and challenges.”

The developers of the website offer a strong rationale for

“We are in an information revolution in health care, rapidly approaching an age in which all patient records and related information will be maintained electronically. Data on a scale only recently imaginable will pass between individuals and institutions and be used in ways we cannot yet predict as the current healthcare delivery system undergoes a major transformation towards a more robust, evidence-based endeavor highly reliant on health care data for purposes ranging from research to improved real-time care coordination. At the same time, access to, use and release of health information, particularly individually identifiable data, is highly regulated at both the federal and state levels."

“Although the move to electronic data raises new legal issues, it’s important to remember that many of the questions above have existed in some form for a long time. Some of the most pressing legal issues related to health information, such as privacy considerations and liability for health care quality stretch back hundreds of years, to the origins of modern medicine. However, several things make today’s landscape different. Our legal system is addressing the role of information in these age-old relationships in new ways, from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA, 1996), the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (ARRA HITECH, 2009), and the Affordable Care Act (ACA, 2010) to state regulations on health insurance exchanges.”

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