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Patricia O'Connell
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Kirk Nahra Discusses New Leadership at HHS Office for Civil Rights

Politico Pro
August 28, 2014

Kirk J. Nahra, chair of Wiley Rein’s Privacy Practice and co-chair of the Health Care Practice, was quoted by Politico Pro today in an article about Jocelyn Samuels, the new director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Ms. Samuels, who previously served as acting assistant attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, does not have extensive experience with health care matters, according to the article.  Her new responsibilities as the head of OCR include enforcing privacy and security rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). 

Mr. Nahra noted that previous OCR directors did not have a strong health background either.  If anything, Ms. Samuels’ background might cause her to be more consumer-focused, he said.  While she is largely unknown to the health world, “there is no reason to think that this appointment signals any fundamental change in anything,” he added.