Governor Newsom Has Signed AB 713 By Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin

Monday, September 28, 2020

Critical healthcare research data will be protected

Sacramento - Governor Newsom has signed AB 713, by Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin, which will protect health care operations from unintended consequences related to the implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

“This legislation will protect patient care and limit unintended consequences for health care research and operations related to the implementation of the CCPA”, Mullin stated.  “It will provide necessary clarification in areas critical to the life science industry’s ability to ensure appropriate privacy protection to participants in clinical trials and human subject research studies that we all rely on to generate lifesaving medical treatment.”

Medical research is critical to finding treatments for life threatening illnesses and it involves the utilization of real life patient information and experiences. When people offer to participate in clinical trials and studies, they do so with the expectation that the information that identifies them will be protected or in this case, de-identified.

AB 713, harmonizes the CCPA with existing confidentiality and privacy rules for certain health-related information and consequently avoids the potential unintended consequences the CCPA could have had on health-related information by safeguarding healthcare research. Given we are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, the need for this law is critical.

“Patients are at the forefront of everything we do—whether in the hospital or in the research clinic, we always strive to improve and save patients’ lives. As we continue our fight against COVID-19, everything we know about the disease comes from medical research as we work around the clock to find solutions,” said Scott Whitaker, President and CEO of the Advanced Medical Technology Association, the largest medical technology trade association in the world. “Investing in this critical work must remain a top priority, so we applaud Assemblymember Mullin and the California Legislature for tackling this issue in this session and thank Governor Newsom for signing this bill.”

“This bill is a great reminder of what can be achieved when we sit down and talk about issues, even when they are extremely complex,” Mullin added. “The conversations around AB 713 showed that the various parties had much more in common than they realized. As a result, we have achieved a first in the nation patient privacy policy that bans re-identifying de-identified patient records outside a purely medical context which will protect patients and allow lifesaving research to continue.