All official NCVHS documents including meeting transcripts are posted on the NCVHS website (

Department of Health and Human Services


Subcommittee on Privacy and Confidentiality

January 23, 2007

National Center for Health Statistics
Hyattsville, MD

Meeting Synopsis

The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics Subcommittee on Privacy and Confidentiality was convened on January 23, 2007 in Hyattsville, MD. The meeting was open to the public.

All official NCVHS documents are posted on the NCVHS website.


Committee Members

  • Mark A. Rothstein, J.D., Chair
  • Simon P. Cohn, M.D.
  • Leslie Francis, Ph.D.
  • John P. Houston, J.D.
  • Harry Reynolds
  • Paul C. Tang, M.D. (by telephone)


Staff and Liaisons

  • Maya Bernstein, Lead Staff
  • Marjorie Greenberg, NCHS/CDC
  • Christina Heide for Susan McAndrew, OS/OCR
  • David Holzman for Susan McAndrew, OS/OCR
  • Gail Horlick, CDC (by telephone)
  • Sarah Wattenberg, SAMHSA


  • David Brantley, Bearing Point
  • Kelly L. Buck, NAHIT
  • Michael J. DeCarlo, BlueCross BlueShield Assn.
  • Bill Finerfrock, Capitol Associates, Inc.
  • Julie Ann Perschbacher, Hogan & Hartson, LLP
  • Dan Rode, AHIMA
  • Catherine Zorc, American Academy of Pediatrics


Action Steps

Mr. Rothstein proposed the preparation of two Subcommittee letters (intended for the Secretary of HHS) to be reviewed in the full Committee June 2007 meeting:

  1. One letter would convey information from recent hearings about jurisdictional issues and covered entities, including the fact that many healthcare providers are not covered entities. The letter would emphasize continued support for broader coverage and serve as an informational follow-up to the Subcommittee’s June 2006 letter.
  2. The second letter would discuss the specific issues of FERPA-HIPAA overlaps, gaps, and problem areas that need to be resolved (more specifically, the health information about children that can and can’t get to and from schools).

Mr. Rothstein also suggested that the Subcommittee consider hearings for the September meeting of NCVHS. In particular, he mentioned an examination of psychotherapy notes, which are not subject to disclosure of HIPAA privacy. Dr. Francis suggested gathering information about privacy considerations during a pandemic or associated with pre-pandemic planning.

Some Subcommittee members suggested that OCR consider the creation of FAQs or guidance documents as a matter of business practice, in response to the many complaints received (at least 22,000 to date) about HIPAA from across the country. With Susan McAndrew’s help, one 2007 Subcommittee gathering could focus on better use of complaint information by OCR. Ms. Bernstein will coordinate this meeting. It was suggested that discussion about the difference between adverse events and near misses also be included.

Several Subcommittee members requested a meeting with a survey expert from NCHS to discuss what could be added to surveys about how HIPAA is working in the field.

Dr. Cohn suggested one more session between now and the full Committee 2007 June meeting to update information about the rapidly revolving issue of non-covered entities.

Mr. Reynolds suggested the development of a diagram to illustrate how privacy is working “at a realistic level where data resides” within the NHIN.

To summarize, 2007 Subcommittee discussion topics include:

  1. Jurisdictional issues and covered entities
  2. Overlaps, gaps and problem areas of FERPA-HIPAA
  3. Use of survey data from the National Health Interview survey or other sources
  4. Use of architecture models for a privacy reassessment.

Topics and Presenters

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

“Privacy Protections for Medical Records of Non-Covered Entities”

Panel I

Non-Covered Health Data Benefits and Services

  • Carolyn Walton, Vice President, Information Systems, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
  • Philip Marshall, M.D., M.P.H., Vice President, Product Strategy, WebMD Health Corp.
  • William A. Yasnoff, M.D., Ph.D., Health Record Banking Alliance (by telephone)
  • Edward Janger, J.D., Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School

Panel II

Non-Covered Health Providers

  • Eric Light, Ph.D., International Medical Spa Association
  • John Marquis, J.D., Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP
  • Tracey Powell, CEO, Home Access Health
  • Jon Almquist, ATC, National Athletic Trainers Association

Panel III

Scope of HHS Authorities

  • Alan S. Goldberg, J.D., Attorney at Law, McLean, VA

Public Statements

Committee Proposal

Discussion of Annual HIPAA Report

Subcommittee Discussion of Strategy and Next Steps

The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m. See official transcript for full Subcommittee discussion.