Attorneys & Professionals
Lisa Pierce Reisz, a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and a member of the health care group, was featured in Population Health News’ April 2015 “Thought Leaders’ Corner.” According to the publication, the Thought Leaders’ Corner “asks a panel of industry experts to discuss a topic suggested by a subscriber.” The question of the April 2015 edition was “how can healthcare systems maintain privacy and security while deploying population health strategies?”
Reisz answered the question with the following answer:
“Big data and the birth of sophisticated data analytics are potential game changers for population health strategies. Big data is enabling healthcare organizations to harness patient information from a variety of sources to improve outcomes across populations. At the same time, a sophisticated array of tools to collect, analyze and use these data effectively continues to evolve. However, data privacy and security must be an integral part of these efforts, and patient trust is critical to ensuring that data remain available.
While most healthcare organizations are governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), its components are complex, often misunderstood and can unnecessarily stand in the way of important data exchanges. That means that while HIPAA is the baseline guide for any healthcare organization, an organization’s own data governance framework should specifically and clearly address uses and disclosures of population health data.
On the privacy side, HIPAA’s “minimally necessary” requirement is an important guide because it mandates that uses and disclosures of patient information be limited to only what’s necessary to accomplish the use or disclosure. It also requires a meaningful analysis to determine whether aggregated or de-identified information can be used or disclosed instead. Further, HIPAA’s Security Rule ensures that patient data collected to support population health strategies are protected. With the amount of patient data being collected, stored and shared for population health purposes, rigorous ongoing data security is critical to the long-term success of harvesting big data to improve population health.”
To read the entire section, visit the Population Health News website. (Subscription required).