Washington, D.C. – August 7, 2006 – LAWFUEL – Law News Network – Ste…

Washington, D.C. – August 7, 2006 – LAWFUEL – Law News Network – Steven J. Fox, a partner with Pepper Hamilton LLP and head of the firm’s health care informatics initiative, has been engaged to serve as legal counsel to the Maryland/D.C. Collaborative for Healthcare Information Technology. Mr. Fox will provide legal advice on electronic health care matters, including issues regarding privacy and security, and user and vendor agreements.

The Maryland/D.C. Collaborative’s goal is to establish a Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) infrastructure linking all components in the Maryland/D.C. health care delivery chain – physician offices, hospitals, clinics, labs, imaging centers, nursing homes, payers and patients – through a secure, private data exchange. This will enhance communication of patient information, quality of care, patient safety, disease management capabilities, clinical and administrative cost reductions, and bio-surveillance/early detection preparedness.

“I am very pleased to work with the Collaborative in connection with the upcoming contract negotiations and related e-health privacy and security issues,” said Mr. Fox. “I have been impressed with the Collaborative’s early vision for a regional health care information exchange network and the critical mass of member and supporting organizations working together to exchange interoperable electronic health information.”

Victor Plavner, M.D., chairman of the Collaborative, said, “We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Steve Fox and Pepper Hamilton, as they will help us realize our goals. Steve’s level of expertise pertaining to health care contractual and intellectual property matters will be an invaluable asset to our organization.”

Mr. Fox, who is resident in Pepper’s Washington, D.C., office, focuses his practice on technology, e-commerce and health care information. He is experienced in the development, acquisition, negotiation, transfer and licensing of complex information systems, networks and software; RHIOs; outsourcing; computerized records management; privacy protection (including HIPAA); consulting/services agreements; and corporate, contractual and intellectual property matters.

Since 1990, Mr. Fox has devoted his practice primarily to health care information technology. He authored a monthly “Q&A” column dealing with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) at HIPAAdvisory.com, and he is co-author of “Guide to Medical Privacy and HIPAA” (Thompson Publishing Group).

The Maryland/D.C. Collaborative for Healthcare Information Technology (www.collaborativeforhit.org) was founded in May 2004 as a nonprofit entity. Members of the Collaborative include Johns Hopkins Medicine; University of Maryland Medicine; MedStar Health; CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield; Aetna; numerous community hospitals; and a number of community physician group practices. Supporting organizations include the Maryland and District of Columbia medical societies, the Maryland Hospital Association, and the region’s leading imaging groups, Advanced Radiology and American Radiology Services.

Pepper Hamilton LLP (www.pepperlaw.com) is a multi-practice law firm with 400 lawyers in six states and the District of Columbia. The firm provides corporate, litigation and regulatory legal services to leading businesses, governmental entities, nonprofit organizations and individuals throughout the nation and the world. The firm was founded in 1890.

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