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State’s new law could widely impact health care companies

“California’s always been kind of a trendsetter.”

So says a commentator in one recent national media piece spotlighting a change within the state that could cast ripple effects across the rest of the country.

This change has nothing to do with pop culture, collective living communities, radical changes in school curriculums or singular revisions in environmental policy.

Rather, it relates to health care, specifically the information that is collected and used by health care businesses.

What the above-cited industry analyst’s comment points to is a recently passed law called the California Consumer Privacy Act, which is slated to take legal effect in 18 months. Although at first blush the legislation might reasonably seem confined to business activity solely within the state, that is actually anything but the case. In fact, note a number of observers who have closely examined the law, it will likely have a significant – and challenging – impact on legions of medical industry participants all across the United States, including high numbers of New York companies.

Here's why. If you’re a company in the health care field with any nexus at all to California (that is a virtual certainty for a national insurer or care provider), the CCPA will be targeting you.

Its thrust: to provide California consumers with more control over personal data that medical actors collect, store and disseminate about them. Although information that is already protected by HIPAA privacy dictates will not be affected, most other types of data will. To the extent that any non-HIPAA health-linked information does exist in any consumer’s file, that person must be advised of the fact and have an overriding say in how it will be treated.

That onus, notes the publication Modern Healthcare, “will create [yet] another layer of compliance” for the country’s already regulatory-challenged medical community to deal with.

We will keep readers timely advised on the industry’s response.

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