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Kirk Nahra Discusses California Privacy Law’s Impact on Health Technology Companies

Bloomberg Law – Health Law & Business News
August 6, 2018

Kirk J. Nahra, chair of Wiley Rein’s Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice, was quoted by Bloomberg Law in an August 2 article about the potential impact of California’s new privacy law on health care technology companies.

The California Consumer Privacy Act appears to exempt businesses and providers covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), according to the article. However, Mr. Nahra said the law will create an enormous set of compliance challenges for many health care companies that are not covered by HIPAA – including manufacturers of wearable health devices and developers of mobile health apps.

“It will impact lots of business operations and may have a significant meaningful adverse impact on some innovative business activities,” Mr. Nahra said.

Mr. Nahra also addressed whether California’s new law may prompt other states to enact their own privacy laws. He said he is doubtful that there will be a surge in such state laws, because the California law arose from unique circumstances involving a proposed November ballot initiative – which was preempted by the law’s enactment.

But if additional states do end up enacting privacy statutes, the health care industry will likely work together to seek a federal privacy law that would provide consistency and preempt state laws, according to Mr. Nahra.