What They’re Watching: Steve Brennan, Change Healthcare


Eli Kirshbaum


The ethical use of health data is a high priority for Change Healthcare, according to the organization’s senior manager for state health policy, Steve Brennan. At the 2021 Southern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference in December, he highlighted California’s implementation of the 2020 California Privacy Rights Act and how other states are following California’s leadership in health data privacy. He called the state a “vanguard” in data privacy legislation.

With health technology advancing, he says a lot of health care data use today is not covered under HIPAA—and states will need to implement their own up-to-date health data privacy laws in the absence of updated federal regulations.

Brennan also explained how COVID gave his organization a renewed focus on filling gaps in health data collection.

“I think one of the things that really shone during the pandemic [are] the significant inequities in our country in terms of access to health care, quality care, and then of course all of the social determinants of health that impact our communities.”