Government Panel Rules Health Information Exchanges Must Have Patient Consent

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A federal privacy and security panel that advises the Health Policy Committee says health information exchanges must first obtain patient consent before sharing sensitive patient information beyond a point-to-point exchange, according to a Government Health IT report.

Previously, HIE privacy rules were unclear. Some HIEs provide multipoint exchanges within a provider community, but now HIEs are required to have a patient's consent before personal health information is made available to a third party. Simpler point-to-point exchanges still do not require patient consent beyond what is stated in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, state laws and fair information practices.

If a patient chooses not to allow their provider to share their medical information using an HIE, the provider can use a different organization to conduct the exchange. Providers can also use the same HIE as long as that provider and not the HIE has control over the decision to exchange, according to the report.

Read the Government Health IT report on the HIE patient consent rule.

Read other coverage on healthcare information technology:

- Three Things to Know About the Future of Medical Faxing

- California Launches Nation's Largest Telehealth Network to Connect Healthcare Providers

- Survey Shows Patients' Biggest Concern is Access to Electronic Health Records

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