While the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act remains “surprisingly functional,” there are still sizable gaps surrounding the privacy law which must be addressed, according to a recent Health Affairs blog post citing a JAMA “Viewpoint” by Glenn Cohen and Michelle Mello.
Much has changed since the law’s passage in 1996, according to the report, including a more far-reaching digital footprint due to advent of social media and big data analytics.
The report offers four areas that U.S. legislators “need to grapple with” in order to deliver more effective health data privacy and usage rules:
- Social media;
- The role of states;
- Veterans; and
- Following the E.U. lead.
” … The U.S. system for regulating health information, especially outside HIPAA, is certainly not uniform and may not even be predictable,” the report states. “When we think about the task of protecting health information in the 21st century, I do not think it is HIPAA that needs reexamining. Rather, we need an appropriately thoughtful and comprehensive discussion of how best to regulate health information wherever it is collected.”