PHARMACY

HHS updates HIPAA rules for electronic health records

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The Department of Health and Human Services issued a new rule that it said was necessary to protect the security of health information stored online.

As required by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, which was part of the 2009 economic stimulus bill, HHS said it would change patient privacy rules in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in order to provide for privacy and security protection for information stored in electronic health records.

Among other things, the new rules will place stronger restrictions on use of protected health information for marketing and fundraising while prohibiting its sale without a patient’s permission; expand patients’ rights to receive electronic copies of their health information and restrict disclosures to health plans regarding treatments that patients have paid off out of pocket; change individual authorization requirements to make research and disclosure of child immunization proof to schools; and allow access by family members and others to information about somebody who has died.

 

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PHARMACY

GPhA hires ‘influential’ D.C. lobbyist

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The generic drug industry’s main trade group in Washington has hired a prominent lobbyist to head its government affairs team.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association announced that it had hired Melissa Schulman as SVP government affairs, describing her as "one of the best known advocates" in Washington, noting her ranking as an influential lobbyist in publications such as Roll Call, The Hill and National Journal. Schulman previously worked as a Democratic lobbyist for the Bockorny Group.

"[Schulman] brings a well-earned reputation for ensuring that her client’s voice is heard," GPhA president and CEO Ralph Neas said. "In addition, Melissa’s combination of 15 years of private sector experience and 14 years working in Congress makes her a perfect choice to lead our association’s advocacy efforts."

Before working for the Bockorny Group, Schulman was executive director of the Democratic Caucus and policy director Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

 

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Diplomat VP clinical services participates in HCV ‘think tank’

BY Alaric DeArment

FLINT, Mich. — An executive from Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy recently participated in a program on hepatitis C therapy, the company said.

Diplomat said VP clinical services Gary Rice participated in the "think tank" program, "The New Paradigm of HCV Therapy – Integration of Oral Therapies into Best Practices," at the Harvard Medical School in Boston last week. The goal of the meeting was to provide a forum for exchanging the latest knowledge and opinions on the optimal diagnosis and management of people with chronic hepatitis C, with a focus on current and experimental therapies, access to therapy, diagnosis and testing, patient care management and patient advocacy.

"Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy strives to provide the best care, resources and current information to our patients," Rice said. "To have the opportunity to participate in this Harvard think tank and meet and discuss optimal hepatitis C treatments with some of the best medical minds in the country was a privilege and an invaluable return for our patients."

 

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