Zeroing in on interoperability, EHR access, data sharing in 2017

20 February 2017

By Jessica Davis

ORLANDO ― As with any administration transition, there are new priorities. While OCR has a laundry list of items to accomplish for 2017, the priority may shift as the new team comes into place, according to Deven McGraw, deputy director, health information privacy, OCR.

These remarks opened McGraw’s HIMSS17 session on Monday: “HIPAA privacy, security -- Lessons from 2016 and what’s next in 2017.”

For now, McGraw said OCR’s 2017 goals are as follows:

  • OCR partnership that will focus on security barriers and guidance to address interoperability issues.
  • Provisions for researchers accessing data.
  • Guidance for mental health providers about sharing data on mental health patients with family members, without first contacting the patient.
  • HITECH provisions to create a methodology for patients harmed by HIPAA violations.
  • Regulatory agenda for precision medicine access rule.
  • Developing a set of FAQs for individuals asserting their right to send personal data to a research provider.
  • Text-messaging guidance, answering questions on whether a provider can text with patients
  • Social media usage when it comes to patient health information, which will govern when this data can be used.
  • Working with ONC on EHR usage and what that means for HIPAA security, including encryption.

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