Privacy of Medical Information
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Health and Human Services is considering changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rules. The potential changes are worrying to the disability community, particularly changes in way the protected health information of people with psychiatric disabilities or substance use disorders could be shared without their consent. Weakening current privacy protections could discourage people from seeking the supports and care they need.
In general, HIPAA gives people control over their health information and sets rules about the use and sharing of health records. OCR issued a request for information on possible changes to the HIPAA Rules. Comments must be submitted on or before February 12, 2019. The document asks specific questions about possible options for expanding the disclosure of a person’s protected health information. CPR believes any changes to HIPAA must prioritize protecting the privacy and autonomy of the person receiving health care. Encouraging coordinated and value-based health care must never happen at the price of important safeguards that protect our health information and ensure it is not used or disclosed improperly. Learn more about our concerns by reading our comments below.