On December 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020.  “The Strategic Plan represents a coordinated and focused effort to appropriately collect, share, and use interoperable health information to improve health care, individual, community and public health, and advance research across the federal government in collaboration with private industry.”  In developing the Strategic Plan, ONC collaborated with more than 35 federal agencies.
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Health care providers and other entities face a host of legal and practical challenges as they implement telehealth and telemedicine initiatives.

For example, providers of telehealth services, and the entities creating or hosting telehealth platforms, must determine which federal and state privacy and security laws apply to them.  These laws, such as the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), may impose privacy and security restrictions, as well as restrictions on the use of data for marketing.  Additional privacy and security complications may arise if providers choose to store data from telehealth encounters on the “cloud.”
Continue Reading Legal and Practical Challenges Surround Telehealth Implementation