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Privacy Briefs: March 2019

◆ The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee has asked federal agency officials and health industry stakeholders how they believe the federal government can help protect the industry from cyberattacks. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration, plus the American Hospital Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the American Medical Association to ask for advice on what security steps could be adopted industry-wide, and whether federal policymakers should make changes to laws or regulations. “I would like to work with you and other industry stakeholders to develop a short and long term strategy for reducing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the health care sector,” Warner wrote. Read more at https://bit.ly/2ND3F5i.

◆ Ride-sharing company Lyft, which is preparing for an initial public offering, says more than 60 health care companies are using Lyft Concierge, its HIPAA-compliant transportation service, which allows providers to summon rides for patients. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lyft said more than 16 million patients potentially have access to Lyft rides via Lyft’s agreements with providers. However, Lyft also noted in its SEC filing that its HIPAA compliance requirements as a business associate also could raise liability risks and costs for the company. Both Lyft and rival Uber contract with providers to transport patients (“Uber Health, Lyft Patient Transport Services Raise HIPAA Questions,” RPP 18, no. 5). Learn more at https://bit.ly/2GV32U1.

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