Legal Barriers to Care Coordination
As the industry attempts to facilitate data sharing across disparate settings, it will encounter a multitude of applicable state privacy laws that will make the job challenging, says health lawyer Bernadette Broccolo, a partner in the health industry advisory practice of Chicago-based McDermott Will & Emery.
The federal HIPAA privacy law is fairly flexible in terms of releasing information for treatment, payment and operations, Broccolo says. But many states have rigorous laws controlling the release of sensitive patient information in such areas as drug use, mental health and genetic counseling. "A key to the ACO will be the ability to aggregate, share and analyze data," she says. "The legal and I.T. issues are intertwined. The legal requirements are complex."