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Interoperability Without Security Undermines Patient Privacy

As our digital footprint grows, the desire to control personal data is more important than ever for consumers. This assertion is especially true as it relates to data associated with our health. From wearable technology that collects heart rates and steps to apps that help manage chronic conditions, we are all becoming de facto data generators and aggregators. With data ownership becoming the rule, as opposed to the exception, there is now an expectation that we can gain access to our personal health records kept by health care providers.

On March 9, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) addressed this trend with the announcement of two new rules that will give patients access to their records via third-party apps. According to HHS, the new rules identify and finalize “the reasonable and necessary activities that do not constitute information blocking while establishing new rules to prevent ‘information blocking’ practices” and allow patients to access their health data via third-party apps.

(Link to the Article)

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