Comments Sought on How Patient Consent Will Work in Electronic Exchange
Draft recommendations released this week by the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) describe how patient consent should be obtained before a patient’s health information is exchanged electronically between entities participating in a regional health information organization (RHIO). The recommendations are part of a draft white paper released for public comment, developed by NYeC’s privacy and security workgroup.
NYeC is a public-private health information technology (HIT) stakeholder group aimed at developing consensus on key HIT policies and collaborating on state on regional HIT implementation efforts. The NYeC workgroups develop policies, technical standards, and operational guidance for health IT projects in New York and the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY).
The NYeC privacy and security workgroup paper asserts that given state law regarding disclosure of certain health information, “affirmative consent from the patient to exchange health information via SHIN-NY governed by a RHIO is required under existing state law for non-emergency treatment.”
Comments are due to NYeC by October 3. This comment period is the only opportunity for the public to offer input on this important issue. Once the comment period closes, the NYeC Policy and Operations Council and then the NYeC Board will consider the recommendations put forward in the paper. Once NYeC submits the paper to the Department of Health (DOH), DOH can adopt as policy the recommendations without another notice and comment period.