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Patient Privacy

Verana Health’s platform enables physicians and industry to work together towards a shared goal of accelerating the availability of better treatments and cures for patients. Verana’s insights come from two of the largest clinical databases in medicine, the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s IRIS® Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight), and the American Academy of Neurology’s Axon Registry®. Our partnerships with these organizations enable us to learn from the collective healthcare journey of millions of patients to empower physicians, accelerate research, and enhance patient care, including for patients with conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and Alzheimer’s Disease where limited treatments or cures exist.

As part of our work, Verana is entrusted with confidential information from physicians and the patients that they serve. Verana has strict policies regarding the protection of this information that meets or exceeds all legal requirements to safeguard data and protect patients. To learn more about these requirements and guidelines, please visit HHS.gov’s Health Information Privacy page

About Verana Health 

Verana Health is a data curation and analytics partner of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons, and the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the world’s largest association of neurologists. US members of each organization can submit patient data to each organization’s quality improvement registry. Registries are centralized data repositories that contain physician-reported clinical data regarding patient health status and trends over time. Verana operates as a business associate that assists these registries by improving data quality and de-identifying the data. The de-identified data is used to create the Verana Health data platform, which uses only de-identified data to perform research and analytics.

Patient and Physician Data Privacy

Ophthalmology and neurology practices are required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and provide you with a description of their privacy practices. By receiving treatment, you’re permitting your practice to use and disclose information about you in ways that are allowed by federal privacy law. HIPAA permits the use of patient data for “health care operations,” which includes quality assessment activities to improve patient care and the creation of de-identified data. Physician information may also be used for these purposes, as authorized by the practices participating in the registries. 

How Verana Health Uses Confidential Information

Verana operates as a business associate that assists the registries in providing quality improvement services to the practices and de-identifying the data. The de-identified data is used to create the Verana Health data platform, which uses only de-identified data to perform research and analytics.

Commitment to De-identification of Patient and Physician Data 

Verana employs two-methods of de-identification: expert de-identification and “Safe Harbor” de-identification by which patient identifiers are removed from a patient’s record. An independent team of qualified personnel at Verana Health de-identifies all registry data into high-quality, HIPAA-compliant datasets. An established firewall is also in place to ensure identifiable data will not be used for research or sold. De-identified data is verified by a third-party statistician as being de-identified, in order to protect the privacy of all patients. Additionally, third parties do not have access to physician names or other data that identifies individual physicians.

Inclusion in the Verana Health Data Platform

If you are a patient with an ophthalmic or neurologic condition that has been treated in the past several years by a member of the AAO or AAN in the United States, and your doctor participates in one of these registries, it is possible that your de-identified healthcare information is included in the Verana Health data platform. To verify, please request an accounting of disclosures from your doctor or simply ask if your doctor submits data to these registries.

Commitment to Patient Privacy 

Safeguarding patient privacy remains Verana’s number one priority. Verana is committed to compliant, secure, and responsible data governance, including compliance with the privacy and security requirements established by its partners, applicable law, and industry standards for data security. Additionally, the data in the Verana Health data platform is verified by a third-party statistician as being de-identified, in order to further protect the privacy of all patients.

Our Work with Physicians

Physicians voluntarily submit patient data to registries for purposes of quality improvement and in some cases, meeting mandatory federal reporting requirements. Verana is a business associate of these Registries and part of the physician member’s healthcare operations. 

Our Work with Life Science Companies

Once the registry data has been de-identified and can no longer be traced back to any individual patient, Verana curates and analyzes de-identified, aggregate data in the Verana Health data platform to provide insights to life science companies and research institutions with the goal of advancing research and discovery. These life science companies are also under strict requirements expressly prohibiting any attempts or efforts to re-identify any of the patient data provided. In compliance with HIPAA, personal protected health information (PHI) cannot, and will not, be sold.

Partnerships with Clinical Registries

Presently, Verana is partnered with the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s IRIS Registry, and the American Academy of Neurology’s Axon Registry. Additional registries may be added in the future.

Questions

If you have any questions about Verana Health and our data privacy practices, please reach out to privacy@veranahealth.com.