The privacy subcommittee of the National Committee for Vital and Health Statistics, a federal advisory panel, has a recommendation in the works that patients be given control over the flow of specific elements of their personal healthcare records, an official of the American Health Information Management Association said Monday.
"We say secondary data is one of the benefits" of a health information exchange, said Dan Rode, vice president for policy and government relations for AHIMA, which is hosting its annual meeting in Philadelphia this week. Rode said during a convention session on AHIMA advocacy that the NCVHS is preparing a letter of recommendations similar to one submitted in June 2006 to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt with 26 recommendations on how best to protect patient privacy while developing the proposed national health information network, a proposed connection of various proposed state and regional health exchanges.
In the latest letter, Rode said, the NCVHS subcommittee calls for allowing patients to "block certain portions of their health record."
"The question is," Rode said, "How do you make that work?"
According to a copy of the new letter, a draft written following a subcommittee meeting Oct. 4, the group restates and expands on its 2006 NCVHS recommendation to Leavitt that "HHS should assess the desirability and feasibility of allowing individuals to control access to the specific content of their health records via the NHIN, and, if so, by what appropriate means. Decisions about whether individuals should have this right should be based on an open, transparent and public process."