Report: HIPAA Hinders Big Data Innovation

The looming threat of HIPAA penalties may be hindering big data innovation in healthcare, according to a report from the Bipartisan Policy Center.

While HIPAA is designed to safeguard patient privacy, "it is often misunderstood, misapplied and over-applied in ways that may inhibit information sharing unnecessarily," limiting the amount of data available for analysis, according to the report's authors.

Additionally, social media, apps and other new data-collecting technologies are not specifically addressed by HIPAA, leading to confusion and apprehension about appropriate uses of such data. The report authors advocate providing clarity to HIPAA and other existing regulations to allow big data initiatives to move forward confidently.

Data use and analysis also requires trust from both patients and other organizations sharing the data that it will not be disclosed or misused. Clarifying HIPAA regulations will help ensure all parties of data security, but organizations should also work to build trust with patients by providing patient access to data and cultivating a reputation for vigilant privacy practices.

More Articles on HIPAA:

OIG: HIPAA Is Not Being Fully Enforced
7 Best Practices for HIPAA Mobile Device Security
The New HIPAA Rule: The Ticking Time-Bomb of Unsecured Text Messaging

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