McGraw leaves Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

Health

Deven McGraw, the Deputy Director for Health Information Privacy at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has departed the OCR. McGraw left her position as of on October 19, 2017.

McGraw has acted as Deputy Director for Health Information Privacy since July 2015, replacing Susan McAndrew. McGraw joined OCR from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP where she co-chaired the company’s privacy and data security practice. McGraw also acted as Acting Chief Privacy Officer at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) since the departure of Lucia Savage earlier in 2017.

In July 2017, ONC National Coordinator Donald Rucker revealed that, after cuts to the ONC budget, the Office of the Chief Privacy Officer would be phased out, with the Chief Privacy Officer receiving only limited support. Due to this it seems an opportune time for Deven McGraw to move to a new role.

OCR’s Iliana Peters has been drafted in to replace McGraw in the interim and will serve as Acting Deputy Director until a suitable replacement for McGraw can be identified. Peters has left her position as senior advisor for HIPAA Compliance and Enforcement at OCR. There are no long-term plans to bring in a replacement for McGraw at the ONC.

One of the first duties for Peters will be to ensure the statutory obligations of the 21st Century Cures Act are adhered to, and to issue guidance for healthcare groups 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 legislation and will be sorely missed at OCR. McGraw revealed via her Twitter account, “The HIPAA team at OCR is in good hands with Iliana Peters as Acting Deputy.”

It was also revealed on Politico that McGraw will be heading to Silicon Valley and will be joining a health tech start up that will aim to “empowering consumers.” Currently, no official announcement has been made about which company she is linking up with. 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.”