National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS)

Public Comments: August 2007 – NCVHS letter Update to privacy laws and regulations required to accommodate NHIN data sharing practice

We particularly note the Committee’s observation that the non-covered entities “may even sell personal health information without authorization for the purpose of marketing or other purposes that consumers may find objectionable.” The World Privacy Forum agrees with the Committee, and believes that the use of identifiable patient health care information for marketing is a disturbing possibility. New institutions are being developed and implemented to exploit gaps in HIPAA that allow use of patient data for marketing purposes. Action to close those gaps is needed urgently. The Committee’s letter is a small step in that direction.

Public Comments: June 2006 – Medicaid Program and State Children’s Health Insurance Program Systems Notice

The World Privacy Forum submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requesting that it amend a Systems of Records Notice to address an oversight and address other privacy issues. The Forum requested that CMS add a reference in the system notice to Executive Order 13181 of December 20, 2000, “To Protect the Privacy of Protected Health Information in Oversight Investigations.” The Forum also requested that the routine uses be revised to reflect the HIPAA requirements as appropriate when the disclosures involve HIPAA records.