Scientists lament HIPAA’s impact on new research projects

The Association of Academic Health Centers says that the federal privacy rules outlined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act have created barriers for biomedical research in the U.S. According to the researchers, consent forms required by HIPAA, which lawmakers intended to help safeguard patient information, has made it much more difficult to enlist volunteers in new research programs.

"Protection of the patient and health information is always paramount when it comes to research conducted at academic health centers throughout the nation," says AAHC President Dr. Steven A. Wartman. "We now know that the privacy rule is having a serious and detrimental impact on research and ultimately patients. Solutions to problems generated by the privacy rule, as outlined in this report, should be pushed forward to protect privacy while ensuring the nation's biomedical research endeavors do not suffer in the near or long term."

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