Protect the Privacy of Your Health Records
Take action by December 1 to protect your private health records.
The state is undertaking a massive effort to create the first electronic health database, called the health information exchange. Patient health records would be stored in this electronic database and shared among health-care providers, so one doctor or hospital could more easily access a patient's medical records from another.
But without ironclad privacy protections in place, your health records might be seriously misused. Sensitive medical information, like prescription drug history or mental health diagnosis, may end up being readily available to prying eyes.
The health care industry is lobbying hard to make sure those records will be easily accessible unless you opt out. To truly protect one's privacy, we believe you–not a lobbyist, drug company or policymaker–should decide if your medical information can be shared. That means you should have the right to opt in to the sharing agreement instead of being automatically enrolled unless you opt out. You should have the right to consent.
Consent is particularly important given that medical records of hundreds of thousands of people have been compromised by hospital, government, and insurance company security breaches.
Make your voice heard before the rules get written without you!
The California Privacy and Security Advisory Board is now drafting the guidelines for this new electronic records system. Tell them you want control of your health. What you say now can make a difference. Californians should not have to choose between privacy and health. Take action now!
EPIC's Medical Record Privacy page
CDT's Health Privacy page
U.S. News & World Report Electronic Medical Records: Will Your Privacy Be Safe?