Eleanor T. Chung, Associate in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Law360, in “Senators Told That AI Is Already Harming Patients,” by Gianna Ferrarin. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

While the health care industry is focused on how new developments in artificial intelligence will reshape the field, some experts believe more attention should be paid to the fact that AI isn't just a hypothetical — it's here, and already influencing patient care. …

Testifying on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Christine Huberty, an attorney at nonprofit Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, or GWAAR, described the case of Jim, an 81-year-old who'd suffered from COVID-related pneumonia while undergoing chemotherapy.

According to Huberty, doctors recommended that Jim remain in a nursing facility for 30 days, but the algorithm used by his insurer's subcontractor decided he needed only 14.2 to 17.8 days. Jim was ultimately denied coverage on his 16th day of rehabilitation and was released, despite ongoing concerns about his condition.

"Jim's doctors and therapists did not agree with the algorithm's predicted discharge date, nor did they agree with Jim's own decision to return home so soon," Huberty told the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security. "AI directed Jim's care."

Huberty was accompanied by a handful of doctors who testified on anticipated — and current — impacts of using artificial intelligence in health care, from easing administrative burdens in clinical care to synthesizing biological weapons.

Eleanor Chung, a health care and life sciences associate at Epstein Becker Green, told Law360 that the panel "spoke of processes familiar to our health care system: the needs for auditing and testing, for measuring efficacy and outcomes, and for accountability."

"When those needs are addressed, AI has great potential to improve cost, quality, and access to health care," Chung said in her emailed statement.

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