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GAO Releases Report on Efforts to Improve Data Sharing While Protecting Privacy

The U.S. GAO's report examines the limitations of data sharing by state and federal officials based on inconsistencies in federal law, lack of standardized data, and concerns over violating federal privacy standards.  The GAO also presents recommendations, such as harmonizing the various federal privacy rules, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Privacy Act, and the Public Health Service Act.  Additionally, the GAO recommends that the Department of Health and Human Services issue guidance, including model data sharing agreements and informed consent language, and that the Office of Management and Budget consider more ways to promote data sharing practices.

Download full report as a PDF