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Patricia O'Connell
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Kirk Nahra Discusses White House Draft Principles on Data Privacy in Health Research

Bloomberg BNA’s Health Law Resource Center
July 14, 2015

Kirk J. Nahra, chair of Wiley Rein’s Privacy Practice and co-chair of the Health Care Practice, was quoted by Bloomberg BNA in an article about the White House’s draft principles for data privacy in health research. The draft was released July 8 in preparation for President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, which will require at least 1 million Americans to share their electronic health data with the National Institutes of Health as part of a research project.

The proposed principles include “building trust and accountability through transparency,” according to the article. Mr. Nahra said the draft identifies laudable goals, but said it was unclear what the transparency principle would mean in various health care and research settings.

“The health care industry in general has to be able to move without needing to check back with patients every second,” he told BNA’s Health Law Resource Center. He noted that one of the core principles of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules is that there are certain tasks that providers are allowed to do without authorization from the patient.