Strong state privacy laws continue to complicate health information exchanges' efforts to ease health-data sharing, a senior federal health technology official said Monday. And a key to overcoming such obstacles may be greater use of meta tags.
Joy Pritts, chief privacy officer in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, told a Washington health policy gathering that some health information exchanges are not accepting electronic health records containing mental health or substance-abuse data. Their refusal stems from concerns that certain state medical privacy laws that are more strict than federal law and require individual patient agreement before their data is shared preclude exchanges' use of the information.
“We're working on a number of different fronts on how to tackle this issue because we recognize, and the administration recognizes, how important it is to have substance and abuse and mental health really integrated into primary care,” Pritts said.