C4BH Round-Up: April 23, 2024

HIPAA Final Rule to Protect Reproductive Health Privacy

The Biden Administration recently issued a final rule modifying HIPAA to prohibit the disclosure of patient health information (PHI) for the purpose of investigating patients or providers seeking lawful reproductive health care. The final rule established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will further support patient privacy by requiring HIPAA covered entities to obtain signed attestations that certain requests for PHI are not for prohibited purposes. (Health IT Security, 4/23)

Balancing Privacy and Data Access: Epic and Particle Health Dispute

In response to concerns of potential inappropriate use of patient health information for non-treatment purposes, Epic halted data requests from some Particle Health customers through Carequality, a nationwide interoperability framework. The conflict raises the need to maintain trust in data exchange through more transparency and governance to safeguard private patient information while supporting data sharing for valid treatment and non-treatment purposes. (Fierce Healthcare, 4/15)

Updated CDC Public Health Strategy and 2023 Achievements

Along with their recently released 2024-25 Public Health Strategy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 2023 achievements, including expanded CDC laboratory reporting with local partners, improved real-time CDC reporting by emergency departments, and increased electronic case reporting (eCR) for faster reporting between health care facilities and public health agencies, with notable uptake in rural communities.

Future priorities focus on connectivity between health care and public health data systems to advance health equity through better real-time exchange. (CDC, 4/11)

ONC Publishes 2023 HITAC Report

The annual report from the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC) of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) details interoperability progress alongside areas for improvement and recommendations to address gaps.

In addition to other recommendations, it highlights the need for better artificial intelligence (AI) transparency and guidance, pharmacy data standards and infrastructure, interoperability incentives long-term and post-acute care providers, and adoption of consent and sensitive data technologies. (Healthcare Innovation, 3/18)


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