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Health information law is focus of new Web site


A new resource is designed to help you and your colleagues protect patient information--and yourselves--in an increasingly electronic medical world.

You and your fellow physicians have a new resource for information about federal and state laws governing the access, use, release, and publication of health information. Researchers at the George Washington University (GWU) Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program have launched a Web site called Health Information and the Law.

“Health information law exists at the intersection of many crucial and related fields: law, healthcare, public health, market competition, consumer protection, information technology, and health insurance,” says Sara Rosenbaum, JD, the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy at the GWU School of Public Health and Health Services. “A modest change in any of these fields can trigger a daunting set of issues and challenge. offers keys to understanding the laws that govern health information and their implications for healthcare, consumer rights, and population health.”

The site enables users to learn about federal laws-such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, and the Affordable Care Act-and laws in 14 states.

Some of the topics covered:

antitrust concerns;

care coordination and management;

delivery system and payment reform;

equity and disparities;

federal and state program integrity;

health information technology and security;

health insurance exchanges;

data requirements for Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and private insurance; and

quality measurement and reporting.

The site also includes a searchable database of analytical articles, issue briefs, and other works by GWU authors. Researchers also plan to offer materials related to the health information aspects of state health insurance exchanges as they become available-and to expand the site’s offerings in other ways.

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Jennifer N. Lee, MD, FAAFP
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