Representative introduces legislation to allow EHR clearinghouses work directly with patients

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., introduced legislation Dec. 11 that would improve patients' access to their health records, according to The Ripon Advance.

The Ensuring Patient Access to Healthcare Records Act (H.R. 4613) would allow clearinghouses to build longitudinal health records for patients so that they may request their medical data directly from the clearinghouses. The bill would authorize EHR clearinghouses to use healthcare claims, eligibility and payment data for reports and studies that would help Medicare and similar programs, healthcare facilities and providers develop better care models. 

"Even in the age of technology, it can be difficult for patients to obtain their comprehensive health records," said Ms. McMorris Rodgers, who sponsored the bipartisan bill that has seven cosponsors, The Ripon Advance reports. "Whether it's because of a move to a new state, switching providers, an unexpected visit to the emergency room, or a new doctor, patients must track down their own records from numerous different sources based on what they can or cannot remember. It shouldn't be this burdensome."

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