HIPAA hinders studies, researchers say

Laws intended to protect patient privacy are a hindrance to research, according to a linkurl:study;http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/298/18/2164 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Nearly 70 percent of 1,527 epidemiologists surveyed by the study author said that the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has made research more difficult since its enactment in 2003.

By | November 16, 2007

Laws intended to protect patient privacy are a hindrance to research, according to a linkurl:study;http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/298/18/2164 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Nearly 70 percent of 1,527 epidemiologists surveyed by the study author said that the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has made research more difficult since its enactment in 2003. Study author Roberta Ness, from the University of Pittsburgh, told linkurl:The Washington Post;http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/13/AR2007111301454.html , "HIPAA is adversely affecting our ability to conduct biomedical research." Respondents to the survey also said that the rules created linkurl:logistical hurdles;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23022/ that slowed research or deterred it altogether, while a majority said the rules were actually having a negative outcome on protecting patient rights. In an accompanying editorial to the study, Norman Frost and Robert Levine, from the University of Wisconsin and Yale University, respectively, said that on the whole, the regulatory system for protecting human subjects in research is growing more dysfunctional. In addition to HIPPA, they write, institutional review board (IRB) approval has come to be a linkurl:burdensome process;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15464/ that can have a stifling effect on research.

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