Rachel Nelson

Portrait of Rachel Nelson

Rachel Nelson's Latest Blog Posts

Improving Information Sharing and Patient Safety: Hear from ONC’s Rachel Nelson

Rachel Nelson | April 3, 2024

Rachel Nelson is the compliance and administration branch chief in ONC’s office of policy, regulatory and policy affairs division. She leads an interdisciplinary team of subject-matter experts focused on advancing information sharing and patient safety.

1. Tell us about some of the projects or initiatives that you lead.

I have a diverse portfolio, spanning development and implementation of specific policies around information sharing, supporting enforcement of the ONC Health IT Certification Program’s regulations, and supporting the health IT safety work spearheaded by ONC’s clinical division.

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Information Blocking Regulations Work in Concert with HIPAA Rules and Other Privacy Laws to Support Health Information Privacy

Rachel Nelson | April 12, 2023

We often get asked about how ONC’s information blocking regulations and HHS’ Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules (HIPAA Rules) interact with one another. To help clarify, ONC just released a few new information blocking frequently asked questions (FAQs) that illustrate how the federal regulations interact. This post also reviews how the information blocking regulations interact with the HIPAA Privacy Rule and other laws that impose specific restrictions on information sharing to protect the privacy of an individual’s health information.

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Guiding Developers through Foundational Federal Laws Applicable to Mobile Health Technology

Rachel Nelson | December 12, 2022

As you design, market, and distribute a mobile health (mHealth) app that your customers will use to collect, share, use, or maintain individuals’ health information, it is likely you have questions about what U.S. federal laws apply. You may also wonder which federal agencies oversee various aspects of mHealth — including how this varies by how individuals, their health plan, or health care providers will use the app.  Depending on who is expected to use an app and how they will get and use the app (e.g.,

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Information Blocking Claims: By the Numbers

Rachel Nelson | February 28, 2022

The 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act), signed into law by President Obama in 2016, directed ONC to implement a standardized process for the public to report claims of possible information blocking. The information blocking claims reporting process welcomes claims of possible information blocking from anyone who believes they may have experienced or observed information blocking. Any information received by ONC in connection with a claim or suggestion of possible information blocking and that could reasonably be expected to facilitate identification of the source of the information (claimant) is protected from disclosure under the Cures Act.

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