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Pennsylvania House Demands Transparency in Population Health Data – Food, Medicines, Health Care, Life Sciences

United States: Pennsylvania House demands transparency of population health data

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In an effort to expand public access to health data on the people of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently passed HB 1893 to amend Section 15 of the Pennsylvania Disease Prevention and Control Act. Pennsylvania. The amendment would bring disease reports, records retained as a result of actions taken as a result of such reports or any other records kept under the said Act to the Right to Know Act. This change would mean that data held by the Department of Health on all infectious diseases reported under the Disease Prevention and Control Act, and not just COVID-19, would be publicly available.

In the continued wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the public has derived great value from population health data. The number of cases, percent positivity rate, and percent vaccinated are examples of population health data that everyone has followed and, in some way, planned their lives in response to some point in time. since the start of the pandemic.

Proponents of HB 1893 argue that it has become clear that the public and researchers need access to population health data in order to make informed decisions. Pennsylvania lawmakers have indicated the frustration current research studies have faced in trying to obtain baseline data on the health of Pennsylvania’s population on COVID-19. (The Disease Prevention and Control Act, as currently drafted, allows data to be provided to researchers, but this must be done “under strict supervision” by the Department of Health.) Opponents, including Governor Wolf’s administration, fear that HB 1893, in its current form, may allow the public release of personally identifiable medical records because it does not expressly limit the release of information to aggregate data only. In addition, others have expressed concerns about the sharing of this data providing opportunities for hackers as well as other data breaches that could occur if the information were shared publicly.

Although support for HB 1893 is currently divided into partisan lines, this is not the first time that Pennsylvania lawmakers have called for transparency from the Wolf administration and the Department of Health since the start of the COVID pandemic. 19. Law 77 of 2020 required record transparency for all Pennsylvania agencies under the Right to Know Act during a governor-declared disaster. In July 2021, the Pennsylvania Senate passed SB 559 by a unanimous, bipartisan vote of 50-0, which would require the Department of Health to make public this amount of wasted vaccine doses. This bill is now in the House of Representatives.

HB 1893 will rule alongside the Pennsylvania Senate and will likely first be considered by the Senate State Government Committee. Governor Wolf has indicated that, as currently written, he will veto the bill if it comes before him.

In an effort to expand public access to health data on the people of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently passed HB 1893 to amend Section 15 of the Pennsylvania Disease Prevention and Control Act. Pennsylvania. The amendment would bring disease reports, records retained as a result of actions taken as a result of such reports or any other records kept under the said Act to the Right to Know Act. This change would mean that data held by the Department of Health on all infectious diseases reported under the Disease Prevention and Control Act, and not just COVID-19, would be publicly available.

In the continued wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the public has derived great value from population health data. The number of cases, percent positivity rate, and percent vaccinated are examples of population health data that everyone has followed and, in some way, planned their lives in response to some point in time. since the start of the pandemic.

Proponents of HB 1893 argue that it has become clear that the public and researchers need access to population health data in order to make informed decisions. Pennsylvania lawmakers have indicated the frustration current research studies have faced in trying to obtain baseline data on the health of Pennsylvania’s population on COVID-19. (The Disease Prevention and Control Act, as currently drafted, allows data to be provided to researchers, but this must be done “under strict supervision” by the Department of Health.) Opponents, including Governor Wolf’s administration, are concerned that HB 1893, in its current form, may allow public disclosure of personally identifiable medical records because it does not expressly limit the disclosure of information to aggregate data only. In addition, others have expressed concerns about the sharing of this data providing opportunities for hackers as well as other data breaches that could occur if the information were shared publicly.

Although support for HB 1893 is currently divided into partisan lines, this is not the first time that Pennsylvania lawmakers have called for transparency from the Wolf administration and the Department of Health since the start of the COVID pandemic. 19. Law 77 of 2020 required record transparency for all Pennsylvania agencies under the Right to Know Act during a governor-declared disaster. In July 2021, the Pennsylvania Senate passed SB 559 by a unanimous, bipartisan vote of 50-0, which would require the Department of Health to make public this amount of wasted vaccine doses. This bill is now in the House of Representatives.

HB 1893 will rule alongside the Pennsylvania Senate and will likely first be considered by the Senate State Government Committee. Governor Wolf has indicated that, as currently written, he will veto the bill if it comes before him.

Originally posted October 19, 2021

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