One-on-One with Beth Valencia, Medicx Vice President of Business Operations, Privacy and Compliance

As the industry prepares for new legislation in 2020, the privacy and compliance executive discusses transparency, the breadth of her role, and the gold standard for healthcare data acquisition and handling.

Q: You’ve spent your career in the pharma/healthcare industry. What about the industry keeps you inspired and engaged?

Beth Valencia: I have always been interested in many aspects of the healthcare industry. For me, it started with my studies in biology and sports medicine, which were focused on patient treatment and care. However, through my exposure to healthcare data I became further intrigued by how it is used to support clinical research, development, healthcare practitioner messaging, and patient outreach and education. The continual advancement in the industry and its relevant impacts on prevention and treatment are what continue to keep me engaged.

Q: More than a decade ago, you transitioned into a position with responsibility for governance and compliance. What prompted you to take that direction?

BV: In today’s information-driven economy, there have been significant advancements in technology and the availability of consumer and patient data. I am passionate about protecting consumer and patient privacy while positively leveraging valuable insights from healthcare data to improve the patient experience and the medical ecosystem in the U.S. With this comes a responsibility to have defined regulations, as well as oversight of governance and compliance for handling this valuable information while upholding the highest levels of consumer and patient privacy. I have a natural ability to navigate this complex world and have successfully developed internal tools, guidelines and processes that are viewed as “best practices” and help Medicx effectively and efficiently remain compliant, while delivering high value to our healthcare industry clients.

Q: You’ve been leading privacy, compliance, and data governance at Medicx for more than three years now. How has the area evolved in the time you have been with the company?

BV: Medicx built its data environment to insure patient privacy is always maintained and that we are compliant with all federal, state, and local laws as well as being compliant with industry self-regulation guidelines. We have a proven track record of managing our legal and ethical requirements, one of which is our bi-annual HIPAA certification (Risk Re-Identification Determination–RRID–Assessment) process we go through with an outside expert statistician. For more than a decade this process has been key with our clients who utilize our patented Micro-Neighborhood® targeting solution, the most efficient, privacy-safe way to reach your patients.

Since I joined the company we have implemented a number of industry-leading processes around data security, privacy, more protections for our clients, and ultimately protections for the patient consumers. Along with maintaining our regular schedule of external third-party statistical Risk Re-identification Determination Assessments, we also established “gold standard” industry best practices for the acquisition and handling of healthcare data, put Privacy by Design steps into place, and introduced all-employee HIPPA, Privacy and Data Security training requirements.

When I consider my work around privacy, compliance, and data governance at Medicx, we need to address two areas: first, legislation, both state and federal, that establishes requirements we must follow; second, there are standards and best practices established by self-regulating bodies such as the DAA and IAB. We participate in these types of organizations that bring leaders together to determine how we are going to operate across the industry.

Q: In the past year, Medicx evolved to provide clients a new level of transparency about the audience building process. What prompted this change in direction and what benefits have you seen for the company and clients?

BV: We evolved to more strongly partner with our clients to best understand their business objectives, which has allowed us to develop audiences specific to those goals, and to deliver the right message to this audience in the most efficient manner possible. We develop those audiences of patients and/or their HCPs with an anonymized and aggregated database comprising diagnoses, in-office procedures, dispensed prescriptions, self-identified, and other actionable data.  We leverage our proprietary, patented approach to target hyper-locally using Micro-Neighborhood® data while maintaining patient privacy and HIPAA compliance. The benefit has been a deeper collaboration with our clients, and strong performance on their KPIs, especially audience quality. 

Q: Is there an area of the Medicx business where you play a bigger role than most people would expect?

BV: In addition to my role as Head of Privacy and Compliance, I am responsible for the Business Operations and Reporting teams at Medicx. This includes management of all our data assets, cloud-based and local repositories, and their use across the organization supporting product management, sales, audience development, campaign implementation and reporting. Overseeing these additional functions within the organization helps me ensure that Medicx maintains the highest levels of patient privacy and compliance across the entire continuum of each campaign.

Q: 2020 is going to be a big year in the world of data privacy with new legislation taking effect in California and several other states working to follow suit. What are your key priorities for Medicx going into the new year?

BV: As we enter 2020, Medicx will continue to monitor, and ensure we are compliant with proposed state and federal legislation. We actively participate in a variety of self-regulating industry trade groups and associations such as the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), Digital Health Coalition (DHC), and the Association of Medical Media (AMM).

Medicx is committed to being a part of these organizations that bring industry leaders together to address the many gray areas in newly proposed and passed legislations. We come together to put forth our own consistent interpretation of the laws and to provide best practices for implementation as well as agreed upon self-regulatory guidelines across the industry. This will continue to be a very important priority for us in the coming year at Medicx.

We maintain our strong commitment to patient privacy. Staying on top of that, and being compliant with new legislation, are essential components of this commitment. 

 

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