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Patricia O'Connell
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Kirk Nahra Discusses Privacy Risks Telemedicine May Create for Employers

Bloomberg BNA’s Human Resources Report
September 8, 2014

Kirk J. Nahra, chair of Wiley Rein’s Privacy Practice and co-chair of the Health Care Practice, was quoted today in a Bloomberg BNA article about the privacy and security risks employers may face if their workers transmit personal health care data through telemedicine applications.

“This strikes me as the kind of thing that in the long run will be beneficial to both employees and employers if it saves time and money,” Mr. Nahra said of electronic consultations that are growing in popularity as an alternative to doctor visits.  “So it’s probably a good thing, but it’s not unambiguously a good thing.”

He explained that privacy concerns can arise for businesses if an employee, while at work, uses the employer’s Internet connection for a confidential medical consultation.  “Anytime the employer is adding to the amount of sensitive information it has on its employees,” it has to be careful about what it’s doing with that information, “both on the security and privacy end,” Mr. Nahra said.