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Commentary
April 1, 2009

Reforming the HIPAA Privacy RuleSafeguarding Privacy and Promoting Research

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center (Mr Gostin), and Institute of Medicine (Dr Nass), Washington, DC.

JAMA. 2009;301(13):1373-1375. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.424

President Obama envisions a national electronic medical records system as a high priority for national health care reform, and Congress recently authorized $20 billion for this technology in the stimulus package.1 Health information technology (IT) could improve the quality and efficiency of health care and lower administrative costs.2 It could also facilitate health research and thus speed the pace of medical advancements. Invasions of privacy and security breaches, however, pose major obstacles to the implementation of health IT.

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