In October, Deputy Director for Health Information Privacy at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Deven McGraw, has resigned from OCR.
McGraw first took on the role as Deputy Director for Health Information Privacy since July 2015, replacing Susan McAndrew. Before working at OCR, McGraw worked at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. While working at the company, she co-chaired the company’s privacy and data security practice. McGraw also served as Acting Chief Privacy Officer at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) since the departure of Lucia Savage earlier this year.
In July 2017, ONC National Coordinator Donald Rucker announced that following cuts to the ONC budget, the Office of the Chief Privacy Officer would be closed out. The Chief Privacy Officer receiving only limited support from the organisation. Shortly after this announcement, McGraw revealed that she would be resigning from her role as Deputy Director for Health Information Privacy.
OCR’s Iliana Peters will serve as a temporary replacement to McGraw, and will serve as Acting Deputy Director until a suitable replacement for McGraw can be found. Peters previously worked as senior advisor for HIPAA Compliance and Enforcement at OCR. No announcement has been made regarding plans to replace McGraw on a more permanent basis.
Peters will be kept busy during her temporary role; soon, she will be required to ensure the statutory obligations of the 21st Century Cures Act are met. She must also issue guidance for healthcare organizations and patients on health data access and guidance on the allowable uses and disclosures of protected health information for patients receiving treatment for mental health or substance use disorder.
McGraw is an expert in HIPAA and privacy laws and it is expected that OCR will take some time to recover form their loss. McGraw said on Twitter, “The HIPAA team at OCR is in good hands with Iliana Peters as Acting Deputy.”
Politico reports that McGraw will be heading to Silicon Valley and will be joining a health tech startup that will be focused on “empowering consumers.” There have been no official statements released revealing which company she will be joining. Politico reports that McGraw will be “part of a very small team doing the thinking about what the product will look like, the data we’re collecting and how we’ll manage and secure it.”