HIMSS19: Loud and clear message from feds on patient data: It belongs to patients

by Larry Emmott on March 14, 2019

in Health Care Politics,Paperless

From FierceHealthcare:

Officials put industry stakeholders on notice over efforts to block patients’ access to their data. The Department of Health and Human Services made public several proposed rules aimed at increasing consumer access to their health data, but whether these regulations lead to the long-held goal of industrywide interoperability will take years to determine.

Source: HIMSS19: Loud and clear message from feds on patient data: It belongs to patients | FierceHealthcare

There are three items of interest to dentists in this article;

One: It takes us back to the central question I have been asking for years, “Who owns the data?” 

HHS is contending that the patient owns the data however the systems do not really support that. The dentist is required to create, maintain and protect the data. The dentist can even sell the data to someone buying the practice but the dentist does not own the data. Third parties collect the data and then analyse it. Who owns it?

Two: Dentists understand that HIPAA rules require them to protect patient data from theft or exposure. However it is not as well understood that HIPAA rules also require the dentist to maintain the data and make it available to patients if they request it. If you loose the data due to a hardware failure or a computer virus that is a HIPAA  violation.

Three: Current systems lack interoperability and that makes it difficult to impossible for healthcare entities to share data or patients to have easy access to their medical / dental records.

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