Minnesota has the authority to collect medical data on nearly every state resident, but the state health department first must clarify how patients will be identified in the records to protect their privacy, an administrative law judge ruled yesterday. The Citizens' Council on Health Care, St. Paul, Minn., has been fighting the health department's proposal, claiming it infringes on resident's privacy. The health department has said identifying information will be deleted or encrypted. Officials say the database would allow them to study disease clusters and scrutinize the healthcare system for ways to improve care. -- Patrick Reilly
Minn. plan to collect medical data gets court support
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