A federally backed consortium of behavioral health providers, administrators and health information exchange experts has joined the chorus of voices addressing the vexing issue of how to pass along medical records for behavioral health patients without violating their privacy rights.
The Behavioral Health Data Exchange Consortium, in a 105-page final report and addendum, demonstrated a limited capability for the successful exchange of such medical records, recommending that “electronic health-record technical solutions must be put forward that allow for the transfer, acceptance and storage of this data” in compliance with applicable federal and state privacy rules. It also recommended that initiatives be undertaken to encourage the adoption and use of these technical support systems.
It limited its review to four information exchange scenarios, all using a push transaction model and the ONC-developed Direct communication protocol for transmitting electronic documents over the Internet.
“The goal was to create policies and procedures that could be replicated in other states and regions,” according to the report, with an objective to exchange behavioral health data in a pilot project across state lines, which was accomplished between Florida and Alabama.