A series of eight HHS-sponsored Web-based panel sessions on state privacy laws and their role in health information exchange are scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays in June, according to an announcement from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
Each 90-minute session will begin at 2 p.m. ET.
The sessions will be conducted under the auspices of the Health Information Security, Privacy and Confidentiality Panel, which was formed in 2006 by contractor RTI International and funded by a $17.23 million contract from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality at HHS.
The main federal healthcare privacy law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, allows state healthcare privacy laws to remain in force if they are more stringent than the federal law, which many state laws are. The RTI program was launched after a federal legislative attempt to pre-empt the state privacy laws failed. The HISPC was to examine state privacy laws and practices with a presumption that they created barriers to health information exchange. The HISPC and RTI will be running the Web-based sessions.
Session topics include consumer education and engagement, interstate disclosure and patient consent requirements, harmonizing state privacy law, adoption of standard policies, among others.
The ONC also announced it will host a two-day user-training conference June 29-30 in Washington, on CONNECT, the open-source software platform developed by the federal government as a health information gateway. CONNECT was developed under the direction of the Federal Health Architecture Program Management Office at the ONC.