Lucia Savage, chief privacy officer in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, is fighting to dispel a widespread and persistent misconception in the healthcare industry: that HIPAA makes it difficult, if not impossible, to move electronic health data for patient care.

A lawyer by training, Savage joined ONC in October 2014 determined to set the record straight on the federal law. According to Savage, some healthcare providers are not sharing protected health information because of their organization’s policies, procedures or protocols—even if such data exchange is permitted under HIPAA. In fact, providers often will not share PHI with each other or payers without written patient consent.

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