Rhode Island HIE Settles With ACLU Over Patient Privacy

As part of the settlement of a 2010 lawsuit levied against the Rhode Island Department of Health by the state's American Civil Liberties Union chapter, Rhode Island's statewide health information exchange will adopt new policies designed to provide more transparency to the exchange process and make it easier for patients to opt out.

The new policies would also make it easier for patients to view and correct information in their medical records, as well as provide a forum for patients to lodge complaints against how CurrentCare, the HIE, is handling their information.

The settlement and the new policies that were made available for public comment resolve one of the lawsuit's central complaints — that CurrentCare's privacy policies were decided on internally and kept private.

"I am very pleased that we were able to resolve this lawsuit in a way that strengthens the privacy rights of patients," said Frederic Marzilli, the ACLU attorney who filed the original case, in a news release. "The Department's agreement that it will no longer adopt unofficial policies to implement the HIE will better ensure public oversight of the way that Rhode Islanders' sensitive healthcare information is treated."

Michael Fine, the director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, told Rhode Island Public Radio he welcomes the ACLU's input to help CurrentCare better protect patient privacy.

More Articles on HIEs:

MetroChicago Health Information Exchange Now Connected to 3 Downstate Exchanges
Houston, Austin HIE Join Statewide Exchange
Use of Point-to-Point HIEs Result in Fewer Tests, Procedures, According to Allina Health Study

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