Health IT privacy meeting

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The first meeting of the HITE-CT privacy committee will be January 11th from 12:30 to 2pm at the LOB. This committee was created in response to legislative proposals to ensure consumers agree to protect their private health information on CT’s new electronic health information exchange. HITE-CT is the quasi-public entity federally funded to create an electronic health information exchange for CT. HITE-CT’s membership is dominated by providers and state agencies. Over the objections of consumers and advocates, in an opaque and unpublicized process, HITE-CT voted against an opt-in privacy process in which requires affirmative consumer consent to share health records. Instead, HITE-CT chose an opt-out policy in which all consumers’ information is shared by default unless they hear about and navigate the as yet undefined opt-out process. The process for opt-ing out and educating consumers about their rights has not been determined, but is severely under-resourced in the HITE-CT budget. All our surrounding states use an opt-in privacy policy in their successful exchanges and between 88 and 97% of consumers agree to share their information. Several states that used to have opt-out policies are converting to opt-in. In HITE-CT’s proposed policy, providers would be required to segregate any sensitive health information in patients’ records relating to ten conditions protected in law such as HIV and behavioral health status and treatment. Providers would also be required to accept liability for accurately and appropriately segregating all legally protected information.
Ellen Andrews