Ober|Kaler’s Health Care Information Technology and Privacy Group
Twenty-first century health care will revolve around health care information technology (HIT) with increasing demand to decrease cost and increase high quality outcomes. Ober|Kaler’s Health Care Information Technology and Privacy Group is significantly involved in the operational, contractual and regulatory aspects of the privacy and security of medical information and the use of health care information technology in the industry. We represent licensed health care providers and facilities and those who do business with them as they move into a new electronic era with unique privacy and security concerns under HIPAA and its implementing regulations and extensive changes of the HITECH Act.
We capitalize on our experience to provide cost-effective practical and legal advice to support clients and their structural and operational changes required for compliance with the HIPAA privacy and security rules and HITECH. Our familiarity with the operational aspects of our clients’ activities yields an ability to focus our efforts quickly and effectively. Our team includes a former hospital general counsel who directed privacy and security investigations and policy implementation and who also negotiated numerous IT vendor, nondisclosure and business associate agreements and provided legal advice through substantial EHR implementation, as well as counsel to a successful statewide HIE implementation who was selected to sit on the Maryland HIE advisory committee.
Jim Wieland advises health care providers and service companies in the areas of health care information privacy and technology, including HIPAA, state medical information privacy laws, and incentive programs such as meaningful use. Jim’s experience in HIPAA began in 1999, when he helped a national organization submit comments that helped change the proposed HIPAA Privacy Rule. Jim has extensive experience helping health care services organizations formulate their business plans and service offerings in a “HIPAA compliant” manner. He advises a variety of Eligible Practitioners and Hospitals on “meaningful use” planning and compliance under Medicare and Medicaid, and serves as the lead outside legal counsel to a Fortune 500 health care company advising on compliance with Phase 1 of the Meaningful Use incentive program. Jim is particularly experienced with Health Information Exchanges (HIE), serving on a governmental advisory panel on HIE issues and continuing with hands-on representation of a successful statewide HIE. In addition, as the Privacy Officer for Ober|Kaler, he brings to bear a unique perspective on HIPAA compliance and training. Jim’s experience includes practicing health care law in Silicon Valley during the ‘90s, where he gained significant experience as a partner in a national law firm in the representation of start-up, emerging and public health care companies
Paul Kim advises both covered entity and business associate clients on HIPAA and HITECH compliance, including on the requirements for the meaningful use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
Sarah Swank provides advice and guidance on health information technology, including “meaningful use”, HIPAA privacy and security, and HITECH breach reporting. Before joining Ober|Kaler, she was Associate General Counsel of Trinity Health, the fifth largest Catholic health care system in the US where she oversaw the legal services department of Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland and worked on system-wide compliance and HIPAA issues. She uses her in-house operational knowledge to provide practical solutions to complex EHR implementation issues, IT contract negotiations, privacy and security compliance and investigations, and HIPAA related clinical research issues. She started her career as a managed care and government affairs attorney in New York State, completing the country’s first extensive HIPAA preemption analysis for a health plan association and advocating and advising health plans on state and Federal privacy and security laws.
Josh Freemire works closely with providers to structure appropriate compliance programs and disclose compliance failures with regard to health information technology, and to resolve close questions of implementation with regard to the HIT Incentive programs. He has extensive experience with HIPAA, HITECH, “meaningful use” of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology, the ePrescribing Incentive Program and electronic signature laws at the state and federal level. Josh has addressed data security concerns and data breaches and structured HIPAA compliance plans at provider entities as small as single physician practices and as large as Fortune 50 organizations, at both a state law and federal level, and works regularly with all types of provider entities to address day to day questions of compliance and reporting.