Ira Parghi is counsel in Ropes & Gray’s health care law group in San Francisco and a member of the firm’s privacy & data security group and its digital health practice. Ira’s practice focuses on health information privacy issues. She advises health care providers, medical technology companies, universities, and other clients on a range of privacy-related issues, including the collection, use, storage, disclosure, de-identification, and selling of clinical and research-related health information. She also advises on the regulation of business associate relationships under HIPAA; the internal investigation, documentation, reporting and handling of potential privacy breaches under HIPAA and state laws; and the handling of privacy-related inquiries and investigations by federal and state regulators. She helps clients to implement privacy programs and conduct privacy-related audits, investigations and training, and assists in the design of privacy-related policies. She provides advice on patient and third party requests for health information. Ira also consults with clients on the management of day-to-day privacy-related matters that arise in the context of clinical care.
Ira’s extensive experience in health care has seen her advise on a range of other issues, including the management of adverse events, the conduct of internal reviews and quality control investigations, the handling of professional disciplinary investigations, consent to treatment and substitute decision-making, and conventional and electronic clinical documentation. Having served as legal counsel to a large Canadian insurance reciprocal for public hospitals, Ira is also experienced in defending health care institutions engaged in civil litigation.
Prior to joining the firm, Ira was the Corporate Privacy Officer for one of the country’s largest hospital systems. Before that, she was a partner in the health law group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.
- Advised an academic medical center on complex issues regarding the disclosure of health records of minor patients.
- Counseled an investment management company on the health information privacy-related aspects of a potential transaction.
- Advised a medical technology company about the privacy and information security implications of a proposed new medical device.
- Provided guidance to a social services organization on various health information-related issues arising from a large-scale transfer of community-based health care programs and services.
- Supervised all aspects of the handling of several hundred patient privacy-related inquiries and investigations, including their investigation, analysis, documentation, and remediation, and any applicable reporting to patients, state attorneys general, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights.*
- Responded to numerous HIPAA-related inquiries or investigations from patients and federal and state regulators.*
- Drafted or revised numerous policies on a wide range of privacy-related issues, including those arising from the enactment of the HIPAA Final Rule.*
- Successfully defended a large professional organization in a complex complaint brought against it before the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner.*
- Acted on behalf of a large public hospital in a high profile end-of-life care dispute that culminated in a court application for an injunction compelling the provision of CPR to the patient, and a subsequent application before the Ontario Consent and Capacity Board (“CCB”).*
- Successfully represented various hospitals and their physicians in hearings before the CCB regarding patients’ capacity to make health care-related and financial decisions.*
- Successfully represented a community hospital in a coroner’s inquest arising from the death of a young behavioral health patient subsequent to discharge.*
- Successfully represented various public hospitals at trial and before the Ontario Court of Appeal.*
Transactions that were completed before joining Ropes & Gray.*
- Co-author, “Blurring the Line Between Health Care Provider and Payor,” Law360 (September 20, 2017)
- Author, “How Can We Make EHR Access Less Unwieldly for Patients and Providers?” MedCity News (August 30, 2017)
- Quoted, “Top 7 Tips for Small Practices to Invest in Technology,” Medical Economics (August 10, 2017)
- Co-author, “4 Predictions for Value-Based Care and Digital Health,” Law360 (June 29, 2017)
- Quoted, “What You Think You Know About HIPAA Might Be Wrong,” Healthcare Risk Management (June 1, 2017)
- Author, “Where is the Future of HIPAA Enforcement Heading,” MedCity News (May 22, 2017)
- Quoted, “GOP Repeal-And-Delay Plans Spell Uncertainty For Insurers,” HealthcareDive (December 14, 2016)
- Co-author, “Digital Health 101: There’s No Regulator-Free Path to the Digital Health Market,” Bloomberg BNA Health IT Law & Industry Report (May 9, 2016)
- Co-author, “Big Data and HIPAA Privacy–Threshold Questions to Ask,” Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor (March 21, 2016)
- Co-author, “Clearing Up Developer Health App Questions,” Law360 (February 26, 2016) (Subscription required)
- Presenter, “The Role of Digital Health in the Shift to Value-Based Health Care,” Ropes & Gray Teleconference (May 2017)
- Speaker, “Best Practices in Research Data Sharing and Licensing,” the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) Annual Meeting (March 2017)
- Speaker, “Data Sharing and Licensing: Best Practices and Ongoing Questions,” ACC SFBA CLE Seminar (May 2016)
- Speaker, “Money and Data in Risk-Bearing Provider Networks: Fraud and Abuse, Privacy, and How to Have Your Cake and Eat it Too,” Healthcare Law & Compliance Institute (March 2016)
- Speaker, “Medical Software: Evolving FDA Policies and Privacy Regulation,” medical and consumer goods company regulatory attorney meeting (July 2015)
- Speaker, “Research Data Sharing and Licensing: Best Practices and Ongoing Questions,” university technology licensing office meeting (June 2015)
- Moderator, “Disentangling the Gordian Knot: Privacy and Compliance,” Digital Health Summer Summit, San Francisco (June 2015)
- Speaker, “Lifestyle Data and Health Apps - Minding the Gap between the FDA, FTC, and Health Care Laws,” Association of Corporate Counsel - San Francisco Bay Area CLE lunch seminar, Palo Alto (June 2015)
- Speaker, “Sensitive Data & The Business Judgement Rule,” Association of Corporate Counsel - San Francisco Bay Area CLE lunch seminar, San Francisco (February 2015)
- Speaker, “What You Need to Know about HIPAA Privacy and Research,” The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research Public Research Education Program, Manhasset (December 2011)
- Speaker, “HIPAA Issues in Clinical Care,” Lenox Hill Hospital medical resident education seminar, New York (October 2011)
- Speaker, “Preventing Fraud and Financial Abuse: Issues Involving Substitute Decision Making,” Ontario Association of Not-for-profit Homes and Services for Seniors Annual Convention, Toronto (May 2011)
- Speaker, “The Role of a Lawyer – Information You Should Know About Potential Conflicts,” Law Society of Upper Canada “Conflicts of Interest in Your Civil Litigation Practice” continuing professional development program, Toronto (April 2011)
- Instructor, “Privacy Issues in Mental Health,” University of Windsor Faculty of Law “Mental Health Law” course, Windsor (March 2011)
- Speaker, “Hot! Hot! Hot! Recent Legislative Changes Affecting Health Care Providers,” Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Veteran’s Centre in-house management education session, Toronto (December 2010)
- Speaker, “Substitute Decision Making and End-of-Life Planning: Hot Topics from a Care Provider Perspective,” Canadian Conference on Elder Law, Toronto (October 2010)
- Speaker, “Document This!,” Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario Education Forum, Toronto (September 2010)