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Healthcare, HIPAA, and Data Sharing

What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in the US in 1996. It's primary functions are to 1) update the flow of healthcare information, 2) regulate how healthcare-related PII (personally identifiable information - also known in this case as personal health information - PHI) is protected from theft, fraud and unapproved disclosure, and 3) create new conditions around health care coverage.

HIPAA first became law at a time when not all health records were digitized. In the current era of data-driven business, government, healthcare, and just about everything in-between, securely share data within the regulatory framework HIPAA provides is essential in facilitating outcome-based medicine, as well as supporting cutting edge medical and pharmaceutical research.  

The general HIPAA Privacy Rule allows covered entities to disclose PII in certain circumstances without patient authorization, e.g. for care coordination, referrals, treatment, and consultation. However, during the COVID-19 crisis, the declaration of a national state of emergency also included several new waivers that can be applied in national health emergencies, allowing broader sharing of PII without authorization in these circumstances in order to assist patients in need of urgent care.

Snowflake, Data Sharing, and HIPAA

Snowflake for Healthcare and Life Sciences can unite virtually all of your data and liberate insights from different sources, systems and your extended partner network with Snowflake’s secure and seamless data sharing capabilities. With the Snowflake Data Cloud, you can centralize all data in a single and secure location and surface deep insights with faster analytics that help improve patient outcomes, deliver quality member experiences, and streamline operational inefficiencies.

With Snowflake, healthcare providers, payers, and life sciences organizations can share sensitive data securely within and beyond the organization, with built-in security and governance that supports HIPAA, HITRUST, SOC 1 and 2 Type II, PCI DSS, and FedRAMP (medium) requirements.