Featured Participants in 2012 DC Health Privacy Summit Announced

March 21, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Deborah C. Peel, MD
media@healthprivacysummit.org
(512)732-0033

Featured Participants for 2012 Health Privacy
Summit at Georgetown University Announced
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, to Receive Honor;
Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, to Deliver Opening Keynote;
Ross Anderson, PhD, FRS, Delivers Evening Keynote

Austin, TX – March 20, 2012 – Organizers today announced a noted honoreeand two outstanding keynote speakers to be featured at the Second International Summit on the Future of Health Privacy, planned for June6th-7th, 2012, at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington,D.C.

U.S. Congressman Joe Barton will be honored as a “Privacy Hero” during the 2012 Summit’s “Celebration of Privacy” on the evening of June 6. The award recognizes Rep. Barton’s critical role as a top Congressional privacy advocate beginning with co-founding the Congressional Bipartisan Privacy Caucus with Rep. Edward Markey in 2000. His leadership ensured House support for the historic new consumer privacy and security protections in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

The opening keynote will be presented by Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, Ross Anderson, PhD, FRS, of the University of Cambridge, U.K., will deliver the evening keynote speech.

The 2012 Summit is hosted by Patient Privacy Rights and Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute on Global and Health Law to provide an international venue for serious discussion by experts and thought leaders on timely privacy issues. Participants will consider how patients’ privacy and civil rights are impacted by current law and regulations, health technologies and architectures (including mHealth and ‘clouds’), data exchange, secondary uses of health data, and social media platforms. The theme addressed at this year’s Summit will be: Is There an American Health Privacy Crisis?

Summit sessions will also explore health privacy through the lens of U.S. and international policies about health information privacy, such as the recent Consumer Bill of Privacy Rights and the EU Draft Regulation on the Protection of Individuals with Regard to the Processing of Personal Data and on the Free Movement of Such Data.

More About U.S. Representative Joe Barton, R-Texas
Rep. Joe Barton, a 28-year veteran member of the U.S. Congress and Chairman Emeritus of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee, will receive a “Privacy Hero” award at the 2012 Summit.

The award recognizes Rep. Barton’s critical role as a top Congressional privacy advocate beginning with co-founding the Congressional Bipartisan Privacy Caucus with Rep. Edward Markey in 2000. His award is for his leadership in 2009, which ensured House support for the historic new consumer privacy and security protections in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

More About Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM
As National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, is charged with promoting the development of a secure and interoperable nationwide health information technology infrastructure.

Dr. Mostashari’s position was mandated through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 and is focused on improving healthcare and clinical research, reducing its cost, and protecting patient health information. Previously, Dr. Mostashari held leadership positions at the New York City Department of Health, including establishing their Bureau of Epidemiology Services, and helped pioneer real-time electronic disease surveillance systems.

More About Ross Anderson PhD, FRS
Ross Anderson PhD, FRS, is a professor of security engineering at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory in the United Kingdom. Dr. Anderson is a researcher, writer, industry consultant, and expert in “building systems to remain dependable in the face of malice, error or mischance.”

More About the 2012 Summit Partners
Organizations partnering with Patient Privacy Rights to present the 2012 Health Privacy Summit include:

Registration for the 2012 Summit is free, but space is limited. Register now at http://www.healthprivacysummit.org. Last year’s First International Summit on the Future of Health Privacy successfully established a global public forum on the future of health privacy. Panel members included health privacy experts from academia, industry, technology, consumer advocacy, top government officials, and international experts. Learn more about the 2011 Summit here. Videos are available.

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O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law
The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University was established in 2007 to respond to the need for innovative solutions to the most pressing national and international health concerns. For more information, visit http://www.law.georgetown.edu/oneillinstitute/about/index.html.

Patient Privacy Rights
Patient Privacy Rights is the nation’s leading bipartisan health privacy organization and leading consumer voice for building ethical, trustworthy healthcare IT systems. For more information, visit http://patientprivacyrights.org.

PPR Founder Interviewed – America in the Balance

03/14/2012: U.S. citizens are concerned about “ObamaCare”- style health care reform and the escalating loss of personal health information and privacy rights. Today’s guest is Dr. Deborah C. Peel, founder of Patient Privacy Rights. PPR was started in 2004 to speak and advocate for the patient’s right to health privacy. Peel has been chosen one of Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential in Healthcare” 4 times in the last 5 years, and is the leading voice for patient control over the use of sensitive health information. Join us as we discuss HIPPA, mHealth, and the upcoming 2nd Annual International Summit on the Future of Health Privacy to be held in June 2012 in D.C.

You can listen to the article by following this link and scrolling down to the 3/14/12 show.

Re: BCBS Breach in Tennessee

The Office of Civil Rights in the Dept of Health and Human Services (OCR) slapped the wrist of BCBS of Tennessee.

One million people’s protected health information was breached because Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Tennessee violated data security laws. The settlement cost BCBS a little more than $1.00 per person—hardly a deterrent to other corporations or adequate punishment. However, that amount happens to be the same as the highest possible fine permitted by law (HITECH).

Still it appears that criminal charges could have been filed for “willful disregard” rather than OCR accepting a settlement. OCR’s finding that legally-required “adequate administrative and physical safeguards” were lacking is evidence of “willful neglect”.

Worst of all, the one million victims received NO protection against future ID theft or medical ID theft. OCR could have also required BCBS to mitigate future patient harms, but didn’t. New technologies can protect against medical ID theft by enabling patients to review all new claims, so they can detect and prevent fraudulent claims and erroneous data from being entered into their records.

Why didn’t OCR propose that BCBS adopt remedies to protect the patients whose records were breached from further misuse and theft?  Shouldn’t OCR help protect victims?

Re: Pres. Obama appoints Todd Park nation’s CTO

The new US Chief Technical Officer (CTO) was chosen for using “innovative technologies to modernize government, reduce waste and make government information more accessible to the public.”

What role does the CTO have in protecting individuals from technology harms? Whose role is it to protect the public from damaging technologies and “big data”?

Technology could enable break-through health research and improve the quality of healthcare. But we won’t have complete and accurate health data needed for transformative research when millions don’t trust electronic health systems. The 35-40% of the public who are “health privacy intense” realize US law doesn’t adequately protect their rights to health privacy.

The full article by Bernie Monegain in Healthcare IT News: President Obama appoints Todd Park Nation’s CTO

Digital Records May Not Cut Health Costs, Study Cautions

This excerpt is taken from Steve Lohr’s article in the New York Times: Digital Records May Not Cut Health Costs, Study Cautions.

“Computerized patient records are unlikely to cut health care costs and may actually encourage doctors to order expensive tests more often, a study published on Monday concludes.

Industry experts have said that electronic health records could generate huge savings — as much as $80 billion a year, according to a RAND Corporation estimate. The promise of cost savings has been a major justification for billions of dollars in federal spending to encourage doctors to embrace digital health records.

But research published Monday in the journal Health Affairs found that doctors using computers to track tests, like X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging, ordered far more tests than doctors relying on paper records.

The use of costly image-taking tests has increased sharply in recent years. Many experts contend that electronic health records will help reduce unnecessary and duplicative tests by giving doctors more comprehensive and up-to-date information when making diagnoses.

The study showed, however, that doctors with computerized access to a patient’s previous image results ordered tests on 18 percent of the visits, while those without the tracking technology ordered tests on 12.9 percent of visits. That is a 40 percent higher rate of image testing by doctors using electronic technology instead of paper records.”

Doctors order more X-rays, not fewer, with computer access

This excerpt is taken from Lena H. Sun’s article in the Washington Post National: Doctors order more X-rays, not fewer, with computer access.

“In the debate over the high cost of health care, federal policymakers have always claimed that one way to cut costs is for doctors to use electronic medical records and other information technology. Doing so, they say, avoids duplication and saves money.

But new research suggests that may not be the case.

Doctors who have easy computer access to results of X-rays, CT scans and MRIs are 40 to 70 percent more likely to order those kinds of tests than doctors without electronic access, according to a study to be published in the March issue of the journal Health Affairs.

“On average, this is comparing doctors who had electronic medical records and those who didn’t,” said lead author Danny McCormick, a physician and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Researchers say the findings challenge a key premise of the nation’s multibillion-dollar effort to promote the widespread adoption of health information technology.

“This should give pause to those making the argument,” McCormick said. Instead of saving money, that effort could drive costs higher, he said.”