For easy sharing with providers and friends, this post is available at the short URL dave.pt/NewHIPAArights
Last month in “You can ask to see or get a copy of your medical record & other health information” we reviewed an important document [click the image at right] from the Office for Civil Rights that every e-patient should know about – and sometimes carry a printed copy, because many providers don’t know about it. That post’s headline tells the story: you can ask.
Now, as part of the continuing rollout of health reform in the age of “e,” there’s a new video from ONC, the people in HHS who run health IT policy. Here’s a text summary of the items in the video above.
- You have a right to an electronic copy of your information, presuming of course that your doc has it electronically. (There may be a “reasonable” charge, whatever that means…)
- Your doc may offer a patient portal that lets you view your data and download it to a PHR (personal health record). This is “Gimme my frickin’ data” on the hoof!
- New: You can tell your doc to send your data to a friend or family member! I guarantee, lots of docs won’t know about that one – I’ve had doctors make me sign a consent form to give ME my OWN data!
- If you pay out of pocket for certain things (e.g. lab tests or procedures), you can tell your doctor not to tell your insurance company. How amazing is that? You no longer have to tell insurers stuff that’s literally none of their business!
- Doctors are no longer allowed to send you product marketing letters when they’re being paid to do so. (Can you believe this needed to be a rule change? I’ve heard that some docs make a ton of money being a covertly paid endorser of a product, but JEEZE.) (Of course they can still do it if you give them written permission.)
- Your health information can no longer be sold (with few exceptions). Again, can you believe they were allowed to sell your data – at the same time it’s been hard for you to get it?
- You can tell your doctor to share your kids’ immunization info without going to their office. (I know parents who were charged for an office visit, just to get a copy of their kids’ vaccine records. Those days are gone.)
- You can ask your providers to stop sending you fundraising letters.
- Your doctor should tell you all these rights in a revised Privacy Practices notice. (When you get that thing, you better read it, or I’ll come beat you up and strip the E off your shoulder!)
My personal thanks to the good people in Washington who have done the Long Slog work of getting these rules formalized so they’re part of the new participatory reality! And thanks to ONC for this clear, simple 3 minute video. I hope this text companion will be helpful at spreading the word.