Lucia Savage, chief privacy officer in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, is struggling to manage a widespread misconception in the healthcare industry: that HIPAA makes it complex, if possible, to shift electronic health information for patient care.
A lawyer by training, Savage joined ONC in the month of October 2014 evaluated to set the record direct on the federal law. In accordance to Savage, few some healthcare contributors are not sharing protected health data because of their agency’s policies, processes or protocols—even if such information exchange is allowed under HIPAA. In fact, contributors often will not share PHI with each other or payers without written sufferer consent.
“It is acutely annoying because I know better,” claims Savage, who came to ONC from the payer side, serving as senior associate general counsel at UnitedHealthcare, where she leaded a group representing the payer in its work in major information transactions regarded to health data exchanges, healthcare transparency projects and other data-driven healthcare projects.
Savage makes the condition that HIPAA offers various pathways for permissibly exchanging PHI. To assist the dispel few of the myths around HIPAA which make it complicated to move electronic health information between contributors and to patients, ONC and the HHS Office for Civil Rights published guidance in the month of February on allowed uses and disclosures for both exchange for healthcare operations and exchange for treatment.
Greg Slabodkin, managing editor of Health Data Management, discussed with Savage about what information exchange is and is not permissible under the law.
Do healthcare contributors utilize HIPAA as an excuse for not sharing electronic health data with both sufferers and other providers?
It is definitely claimed as the rationale. If you dig a little deeper, what we do not know is whether that is because persons are genuinely trying to secure individuals’ privacy and merely misunderstand the rules, or if privacy practices are being utilized for other reasons, like business practices and agencies do not need to share data. We mentioned this in our data blocking report to Congress previous year.
This is deployed on actual anecdotes that come to our attention and based on our experience in the queries that we get in the field. There are sometimes very significant reasons to keep data private, but there are also few extremely significant reasons to share it, and sharing is allowed under HIPAA in the right circumstances.
HIPAA is designed in a very smart way. The Privacy Rule implements the similar to data whether it is electronic or on paper. So, the rules that tell stakeholders how to approach, use or reveal protected health data are the same.
There are some circumstances in which information that is considered PHI can move around within the system automatically so that the network keeps functioning. Those circumstances are information exchange for payment, treatment and healthcare operations. In the situation of treatment, physicians can trade information with each other for sufferers they share in common.
Under few circumstances, yes, and we have tried to explain those in both our healthcare operations and treatment fact sheets. Although, the facts and circumstances have to fit within those permissions in the regulations. We have explained what is allowed by law, at least under federal rules.
Many states have their own laws and regulations to secure the privacy of health data that apply in addition to HIPAA privacy protections and needs on use and disclosure. Are these laws that vary from state to state part of the issue?
At the very least, the state laws—due to their diversity—are impeding our capability to make this entire procedure of gathering and documenting consent capable to be executed by computers. Because now you have to have a computer and programmer comprehend the law in each of however many states there are—and, there is a extreme variation. But, in addition to that, the stakeholders themselves sustain to be confused.
We are not in any condition to tell states what to do—and, we would never attempt to do that. It is about our efforts to be helpful to states as they try to make better the interoperability and sufferer health.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Nice post, Thank you for sharing valuable information. I enjoyed readi ...
Any study that compares opioids to other pain-relief medicines? ...
Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked tha ...
Thanks for the information. I attended it and it was nice to learn the ...
Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you so much. Thanks!! ...
Aetna Announces The Completion of $1 Billion Bond Public Offering
Aetna Declares A Brighter Experience For Entire Members of Aetna Dental Team
Urgent care chain utilizes patient feedback to empower performance
Patrick Conway is quitting CMS to supervise BCBS North Carolina
Copyright© 2015 Healthcare insurance News All Right Reserved