Giving patients greater access to and more control over their health information could improve privacy protection, a former federal policy official concludes in a Bloomberg opinion piece.
The private sector needs to fill the gaps in health information privacy protection left by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and exacerbated by new, consumer-oriented health and wellness computer applications, they say.
The comments come in the wake of a long-delayed joint report by HHS’ Office for Civil Rights and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology on weaknesses in federal healthcare information privacy regulations.
The report, however, was six years late and failed to provide any solutions.
Jodi Daniel, former policy director of the ONC and former counsel at HHS, co-wrote the Bloomberg article. She’s now a partner at the Washington, D.C, office of Crowell & Moring. Her co-authors, Elliot Golding and Jennifer Williams, are also lawyers with the firm.
Daniel and her co-authors say HIPAA provides strong protections, even with a 2002 gutting of the patient consent requirement, which remains a point of contention for privacy rights supporters.