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Researchers Launch Health Information Law Website

May 25, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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Researchers at The George Washington University's Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program have launched a website designed to serve as a practical online resource regarding federal and state laws governing access, use, release, and publication of health information. The site, Health Information and the Law (HealthInfoLaw.org), will aim to address the current legal and regulatory framework for health information, as well as changes in the legal and policy landscape that have an impact on health information law and its implementation.

HealthInfoLaw.org will aim to offer comprehensive materials on federal laws pertinent to health information, as well as state laws that enable cross-state comparisons and comparison of state and federal law on key issues. It will aim to offer advice on legal issues that will arise as health information moves fully into an electronic phase. This includes how the revolution in how health information is created, collected, and exchanged affects classic legal issues such as privacy, confidentiality, and liability for the quality and safety of health care.

"Health information law exists at the intersection of many crucial and related fields: law, health care, public health, market competition, consumer protection, information technology, and health insurance. A modest change in any of these fields can trigger a daunting set of issues and challenges. HealthInfoLaw.org offers keys to understanding the laws that govern health information and their implications for health care, consumer rights, and population health," Sara Rosenbaum, professor at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, said in a statement.

It will also look to offer insights into key legislation, including the HIPAA Privacy Rule, the HITECH Act (part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), and the Affordable Care Act. The site will also offer materials related to the health information aspects of state health insurance exchanges as it becomes available.

HealthInfoLaw.org is a project of Legal Barriers, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at The George Washington University that creates resources for legal analysis to address a range of legal matters related to value-based purchasing, health information, and health-system reform aimed at quality, efficiency and information transparency.

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