A new bill, entitled “Technologies for Restoring Users'
Security and Trust” (TRUST) in Health Information Act, has been introduced as
House Resolution 5442. The bill regulates the use of information technology
within the American health care system and seeks to protect the privacy and
security of patient medical information. According to Congressman Markey, one
of the bill’s sponsors, TRUST:

 

  • Empowers patients to keep their medical records out of
    health IT systems unless they first give their consent;
  • Requires patients to be
    notified if systems containing their health information are breached and their
    records are exposed;
  • Mandates the use of data security safeguards such as
    encryption and other technologies that render information unreadable to
    individuals who are not authorized to access it;
  • Authorizes grant funding to
    enable the purchase and enhance the use of qualified health IT systems;
  • Establishes
    a public-private partnership to make recommendations concerning health IT
    standards, criteria for the electronic exchange of personal health information
    and related purposes to encourage the creation of a nationwide interoperable
    health information technology infrastructure.

 

This is a welcome bill, which has been endorsed by numerous
privacy and medical groups. There have been some questions about electronic
personal health records and how they may be covered under existing privacy law,
such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In
addition, virtually anyone that studies privacy matters agrees that health
privacy is one of the most sacred privacies and should be subject to greater
protections than, for example, marketing studies or other commercial privacy
concerns.


CategoryBlog, Privacy
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