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Tomorrow morning July 20th at 8:30 – 10 am there will be a meeting of the CT Health Information Technology and Exchange Advisory Committee’s Legal and Policy Subcommittee at the state Dept. of Information Technology’s offices, 101 East River Drive in East Hartford. This is the group that has recommended an opt-out privacy policy for health information exchange in CT. This policy would default every patient into the system, unless they figure out how to opt-out (and figure out that they can). Providers will be responsible for removing any sensitive information (i.e. HIV status, substance abuse or mental health treatment) from all records including diagnosis, medication lists, doctor’s notes, etc. Providers will have to assume the liability and the all the labor costs in removing that information. Information in the records will be incomplete, with important but sensitive information missing; providers accessing the system will not know if they are seeing all the patient’s information, making treatment decisions more difficult. Advocates have raised concerns about this recommended policy and the lack of public/consumer input into the decision. An inclusive, public process by eHealthCT developed an opt-in privacy policy for a Medicaid pilot program.
Ellen Andrews