Health, Innovation & Privacy Seminar

This course will focus on the uses (and misuses) of health information compiled about patients, insureds, research subjects, physicians, hospitals, and populations. Medical privacy law has focused on assuring the privacy, security, and accuracy of medical data. The post-ACA landscape will include more concern about balancing privacy, innovation, access, and cost-control. Artificial intelligence, robotics, apps, and other advanced information technology has raised a number of new questions. Add to all this a constantly shifting landscape of middlemen and insurers, and the health information law & policy landscape is an extraordinarily complex one. This course introduces the health information landscape through both traditional readings and more innovative exercises (such as compilation of legal doctrinal "best practices," presentations, and other learning outcomes). It aims to provide a comprehensive perspective on the legal regulation of health information creation, distribution, anlaysis, and use. Beyond HIPAA and HITECH regulation, consumer protection law plays an important role in these fields. Patients are opting to personalize their health records with the help of cloud computing firms; what law governs this digital migration? There is increasing concern about the role of "incidental findings" in medical research and practice; how will regulators and professional groups address them? When employers demand access to employee health records, in what ways can they use them to profile the employee? The course will also examine the legal aspects of data portability, integrity, and accuracy. We will examine pharmaceutical companies' past and present strategies regarding the disclosure of their research, including non-publication of adverse results and ghostwriting of positive outcomes. Will a "reproducible research" movement, popular in the hard sciences, reach pharmaceutical firms? After covering provider data, we turn to insurer data, including trade-secret protection of prices paid to hospitals, conflicts over the interpretation of disclosure requirements in the ACA, and state regulation of insurer-run doctor-rating sites. Quality improvement and pilot programs will also be discussed. The course will emphasize creative, critical thinking about using state and federal law and regulation to advance clients' interests and the public interest.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:
Paper that can be used to satisfy the Upper Class Writing Requirment.