NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement

Article 39
Players’ Rights To Medical Care and Treatment

Section 18
NFL Player Scientific & Medical Research Protocol

This Section governs the protection, extraction and analysis of certain player health information from the NFL Electronic Medical Record System (“EMR”) database as set forth in Article 40 of this Agreement, and its subsequent use and dissemination in furtherance of various player health and safety initiatives. This Section establishes guidelines for active or interventional research involving NFL players. Each request governed by this Section must follow the steps outlined in Appendix X to this Agreement— a failure to obtain the necessary consent/approval at any step in the process will result in the request being denied (i.e., where the approval of multiple parties is required, the denial by any one party will result in the request being denied).


Data Set: As part of the League’s Injury Surveillance System, IQVIA collects and analyzes relevant data from the EMR regarding the occurrence of injuries and illnesses that may impact a player’s ability to practice and play. IQVIA subsequently produces injury/illness reports, which encompass all reportable injuries and broadly describe analyses of injury occurrence, time trends, rates, examinations based on setting, player position, contact level, team activity, player activity, impact source and other factors potentially related to injuries, such as turn type, timing within the season, and severity of injury. Such data collection and reporting is not and will not be used for treatment purposes and IQVIA does not and will not have the ability to modify a player’s record in any manner. The Parties agree that the purpose and intent of these activities is to assess, improve, and advance player health, safety, care, treatment and outcomes throughout the NFL and in the operation of the Clubs. This is done through the work of IQVIA and various committees, subcommittees, panels, boards, and others that advise the NFL, the Clubs, the players, and the NFLPA on health and safety-related issues, policies, research and programs. These assessment and improvement efforts are also intended to yield education and technological opportunities and improvements for the NFL, the Clubs, and the players. Various projects and efforts may be undertaken for these purposes on an ongoing basis in the future. Activities necessary for these assessment and improvement efforts include, but are not limited to, observing, monitoring, gathering, reviewing, surveying, organizing, processing, aggregating, assessing, and analyzing player data, club data, and league-wide data for purposes relevant to: (1) player health and safety, including without limitation, player injuries and illnesses, player medical care, treatment methods, player treatment outcomes, and development of clinical best practices; (2) the use of equipment and technologies; (3) league-wide rules, standards, guidelines, and policies; and (4) practice environments and game environments. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (as amended and implemented through regulations (“HIPAA”) applies to medical records maintained by health care providers, health plans, and health clearinghouses. HIPAA does not apply to information which exists outside of health care facilities and the files of health care providers, including, without limitation, information that is maintained by an entity in its capacity as an employer. Unlike medical records maintained and used by health care providers for treatment purposes, employment injury/illness surveillance records that are not used for treatment purposes are not subject to HIPAA. Without limiting the foregoing, the Parties reserve their respective positions concerning the nature of the information and data at issue in this Section and the applicability of HIPAA thereto. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Parties have voluntarily chosen to adopt certain processes for using and disseminating this data in a manner that is intended to ensure its privacy and safeguarding, as further detailed herein. These processes do not constitute rights, duties or obligations undertaken or assumed outside the scope of this Agreement.


Data Use and Disclosure: In accordance with past practice, IQVIA will continue to analyze relevant injury/illness data collected and will submit reports to the NFL, the Clubs via the Injury Surveillance System. The NFL will produce a copy of such reports to the NFLPA (i) prior to distributing such reports publicly and (ii) whenever such reports are distributed to NFL health and Safety Committees in accordance with this Article.. The NFLPA may also request that the NFL direct IQVIA to produce certain data sets and analysis and the NFL will not unreasonably deny such requests, provided that the NFLPA shall bear the cost of any such analysis it requests. Any such reports produced to either party relating to traditional employer injury/illness surveillance data will always be disseminated to the NFL, NFL Clubs and the NFLPA with players’ names, if any, redacted. Furthermore, IQVIA will use best efforts to preserve the confidentiality of individual players by only reporting the minimal information necessary to identify the concept, trend, or subject of any given report; however the Parties understand and acknowledge that certain traditional employer injury/illness surveillance reports may contain information that would result in the information not being considered de-identified data under HIPAA. If data or analyses furnished by IQVIA to the NFLPA does not contain only de-identified data, then the NFLPA expressly understands and agrees that it may not disseminate such reports beyond the NFLPA’s Executive Committee, Medical Director, health and safety consultants, legal staff, and/or Mackey-White Committee members absent agreement from the NFL. For purposes of clarity, the foregoing shall not be interpreted to limit the NFLPA’s ability to disclose relevant health, safety and/or injury information contained in such reports to the NFLPA membership. Further, nothing in this Section is intended to limit the NFLPA’s rights to or use of information it is otherwise entitled to under this Agreement and/or applicable law.