22 advocates send letter to OHS opposing sale of personal medical records

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Twenty-two independent advocates and providers signed a letter today to the Office of Health Strategy raising concerns about the state’s plans to develop a Health Information Exchange. The writers urge the state not to sell/monetize personal medical records and to adopt a strong consent policy giving consumers control over our own sensitive medical records. Advocates are concerned that selling access to personal medical records to insurers and unregulated Accountable Care Organizations that gain financially by reducing the costs of care could result in denials of necessary care and cherry-picking lucrative patients. Nothing should enter the system until each fully informed consumer agrees and gives consent for which providers/business associates can see their information. Despite potential benefits of an HIE for patient safety and savings, it is not clear that an additional HIE in Connecticut, rushed to access a federal grant, is necessary. Advocates also raised concerns about the process to develop the HIE.

The letter follows a CT News Junkie piece and an op-ed opposing the sale and urging OHS to develop a robust education campaign to inform consumers about their rights and the risks.