Getting health information exchange right

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Anyone who shows up in an ER unconscious wants to know that the doctors treating them have all the information they need to make them well. It is also critical to keeping health costs down and reducing duplicate testing. But a proposed opt-out policy could jeopardize all that. An OP-ED by Helen George highlights the problems in this proposal which would default every state resident into the system without their consent. Providers would be responsible for deleting any legally-protected sensitive information from every record – an unreasonable burden on already busy practices and a huge liability. Sharing information for CT residents trying to access care in neighboring states will be complicated. It just won’t work. But worst of all, without the public’s trust the exchange won’t work, and being able to control our own private information is the foundation of public trust. In MA 90% of patients understand the benefits and agree to participate in their exchange. CT patients deserve the same respect and security. A bill to fix this proposal, require consent, and make the exchange viable is being heard by the Human Services Committee on Thursday. Thank you Helen.
Ellen Andrews