HHS is keeping some of its privacy efforts a little more private than some in the industry desire.
As HHS officials work to develop national privacy policies for healthcare information technology, the agency is barring the public from a series of key regional meetings related to health IT privacy, raising concerns among privacy advocates. The 10 meetings are being held to survey state privacy laws, to identify any state laws that are deemed to be barriers to a proposed national healthcare IT network, and to recommend any needed changes as part of a government-funded project.
But the closed-door nature of the meetings is stoking fears among privacy advocates who dont want state healthcare privacy laws to be overridden by the federal government. Having secret meetings on any government activity that is not classified is a bad idea, and it is no way to develop a consensus, said Robert Gellman, a lawyer and privacy consultant.