• Julie Barnes

September 18, 2019

Maverick’s Update

Only What Matters on Health Information Policy

  1. Several organizations (e.g., Commonwealth Fund, Pew Charitable Trusts, Microsoft) are asking Congress to support ONC’s interoperability proposals. Meanwhile, seven other groups (including the AMA, AHIMA, the Federation of American Hospitals and MGMA) formed a coalition to lobby for a delay of the timelines and to change some of the interoperability proposed requirements.

  2. Family caregivers aren’t getting the support they need to help their veteran family members because the health IT system of the Department of Veterans Affairs isn’t working properly (according to the GAO).

  3. With a $120 million gift, the University of Virginia is launching the School of Data Science to address the “soaring demand for qualified data scientists who can analyze and interpret vast amounts of data.”

One Thoughtful Paragraph

On September 16, the Brookings Institution held an event called “How will a national data privacy law affect connected devices, applications and the cloud?” It was pretty clear that the panelists thought that there was little appetite to carve out health data from a larger federal privacy rule. They noted the basic problem with defining health information as separate from other information (but the GDPR attempts to define “data concerning health” and requires increased protections for that data). By way of example, the Consumer Technology Association panelist pointed to their new data privacy guidelines to help companies (including non-HIPAA covered app developers and start-up technology companies) better protect health and wellness data. This coincides with the recent release of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) draft privacy framework through enterprise risk management and the Internet Association’s (representing Amazon, FaceBook, Google, Microsoft) push for a federal privacy bill. These latest attempts to protect consumers’ privacy are published alongside news reports about the FBI finding Chinese spies stealing children’s hospital research and ProPublica’s reporting about patient medical images on the internet. Maverick Health Policy is also reading this thought-provoking article about how consumers will reject helpful apps if they feel their privacy is being invaded.

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