New Site Lays Down the (Health IT) Law

Site provides 'comprehensive materials on federal laws pertinent to health information,' researchers announce.

Rapid adoption and innovation of health information technology presents a bewildering and uncertain legal landscape. A new online guide seeks to map the terrain and identify legal implications for health IT.

The website, Health Information and the Law, provides “comprehensive materials on federal laws pertinent to health information” as well as “information on state law that enables cross-state comparisons and comparison of state and federal law on key issues,” researchers at The George Washington University Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program announced last month.

The online resource,, focuses on the “access, use, release, and publication of health information, [including] current legal and regulatory framework for health information, as well as changes in the legal and policy landscape that have an impact on health information law and its implementation,” according to an announcement released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The site considers implications for privacy, confidentiality and quality of health care.

“Health information law exists at the intersection of many crucial and related fields: law, health care, public health, market competition, consumer protection, information technology, and health insurance,” said Sara Rosenbaum, Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. “A modest change in any of these fields can trigger a daunting set of issues and challenges.”

The website is a project of Legal Barriers, a foundation program that “creates resources for legal analysis to address a range of legal matters related to value-based purchasing, health information, and health-system reform aimed at quality, efficiency and information transparency.”

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