On May 13, 2010, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected the privacy challenge to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) asserted by Beatrice M. Heghmann, a registered nurse, and Robert A. Heghmann, her husband and attorney, against Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Health & Human Services (HHS), Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director, White House Office of Health Reform, and Charlene Frizzera, Administrator, Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Plaintiffs alleged that HITECH violates the HIPAA Privacy Rule, the Privacy Act, and Federal Common Law.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 placed a mandate on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to recommend national priorities for research questions to be addressed by comparative effectiveness research (CER) and supported by the ARRA stimulus funds. Pursuant to this mandate, on June 30, 2009, the IOM released a report, titled Initial National Priorities for Comparative Effective Research (Report). As described by the IOM, the Report “establishes a working definition of CER, develops a priority list of research topics to be undertaken with ARRA funding using broad stakeholder input, and identifies the necessary requirements to support a robust and sustainable CER enterprise.”