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Privacy concerns about electronic health records

January 23, 2009 by  

Health records may not let you opt outAmericans deserve the right to opt out of participating in a national database of electronic health records, according to the Institute for Health Freedom.

The IHF says that President Obama’s economic stimulus bill contains plans to create an electronic health record for every person in the U.S. by 2014.

Obama has said that electronic records will help facilitate the sharing of information, advance research and improve patient treatments.

However, the IHF points out that the bill does not include a provision for a patient to opt out or consent to participating in this system.

Sue A. Blevins of IHF explained that without those protections, individuals’ health records could be shared with hundreds of thousands of covered entities throughout the network.

"Unless people have the right to decide if and when their health information is shared or whether to participate in research studies, they don’t have a true right to privacy," she said.

The IHF has also called for patient consent to be added to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

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