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Patricia O'Connell
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Kirk Nahra Discusses Privacy Challenges as Health Technologies Outpace HIPAA Rules

Politico Pro
June 12, 2014

Kirk J. Nahra, chair of Wiley Rein’s Privacy Practice and co-chair of the Health Care Practice, was quoted in a Politico Pro article published today about calls for Congress to update the main health privacy law.

According to the article, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)—which passed in 1996 and was updated in 2009—doesn’t fully address today’s growing number of privacy problems.  Employee wellness programs, hospital discharge data, and mobile health and fitness apps aren’t subject to HIPAA regulation, unlike doctor-patient and doctor-payer relationships.

“I think HIPAA does a really good job where it’s relevant,” Mr. Nahra said.  “What’s happened in the last 15 years is that the space where it’s not relevant has been what’s growing.”

Congress has been working to address data security and breach notification issues, but not the overall issue of privacy.

“There’s no consensus on broader privacy issues,” Mr. Nahra said.