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Patricia O'Connell
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Bloomberg BNA Highlights Kirk Nahra’s Speech on Non-HIPAA Protected Health Data

Bloomberg BNA
February 5, 2015

Kirk J. Nahra, chair of Wiley Rein’s Privacy Practice and co-chair of the Health Care Practice, was the subject of a February 2 Bloomberg BNA article about health care data that is not covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule.  The surrounding policy debate could change the regulatory framework for privacy in the U.S., he said in a recent speech covered by BNA’s Privacy & Security Law Report.

Speaking at a Washington, DC conference on “Legal Issues Affecting Academic Medical Centers and Other Teaching Institutions,” Mr. Nahra highlighted the importance of looking at the cloud and ‘big data’ concepts cohesively.  The conference was sponsored by the American Health Lawyers Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the National Association of College and University Attorneys.

“I think the challenge on the cloud side is to fit the existing rules into a technology where it may not work very well,” Mr. Nahra said, adding that it is also an issue when considering big data analytics.  The “rules are going to change fundamentally at some point in the relatively near future.”

Mr. Nahra said the “enormous” growth of health care data that falls outside of HIPAA may lead to a complete restructuring of the privacy rules, and could be a driver for national privacy legislation. 

“This issue is absolutely not going away,” he said in his presentation. “We’re starting to see the wheels turning.”

Additional insights from Mr. Nahra on this topic can be found in a November 2014 article he authored for Wiley Rein’s Privacy in Focus newsletter.  To read his article, titled “Moving Toward a New Health Care Privacy Paradigm,” click here.