Current Flow of Health Data is Hindered, Advocate Argues in Hearing

July 23, 2014 in News

During a House subcommittee hearing yesterday, advocates argued that current regulatory framework hampers the free flow of health data and revised policies are necessary to advance health research and development, Health Data Management reports.

Details of Hearing

During the hearing, before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, testimony centered on the massive amounts of health care data currently being produced in the U.S. and the polices that regulate such data.

Healthcare Leadership Council President Mary Grealy told lawmakers that the “constant, never-ending cascade” of real-time data “contains the secrets to entering the next era of high-quality health care and developing the 21st century cures.”

However, she argued that policies and practices would need to be updated in order to fully utilize the data.

Grealy detailed several recommendations during the hearing, including:

  • Adjusting HIPAA’s authorization components as necessary to guarantee that researchers can effectively use health data;
  • Allowing entities with a perceived commercial interest access to federal health data;
  • Altering state privacy laws and regulations to promote data sharing across state lines; and
  • Easing federal “data use agreement” restrictions to enable organizations to get pre-approval for real-time access to CMS data (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 7/23).
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