ABA HSA Council Meets with HHS on Health Data Protection

ABA Health Savings Account Council Chairman James Galdolfo, joined by ABA SVP Kevin McKechnie, yesterday participated in a panel discussion convened by the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The discussion focused on how financial institutions are using personal health data as their health care-related services evolve. Given financial institutions’ growing role in administering employee benefits and HSAs, Galdolfo and McKechnie argued that banks should continue to receive the Section 1179 exemption from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that they have now.

Representatives from NACHA, the electronic payments association, also supported ABA’s view, pointing out that banks are already regulated—even more heavily than insurers in most cases¬—and should continue to be exempt from having to comply with HIPAA so long as their activities conform to Section 1179’s list of exempt activities. Other panelists included representatives from the Third Party Administrators Association of America, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and Visa. For more information, please contact ABA’s Renee Galbraith.