Privacy is Key to Achieving Successful Health IT Integration

January 14, 2009 12:00 am

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Protections Should Be a Part of Any Funding for Health IT in Economic Stimulus Package

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (202) 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org

XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 />WASHINGTON – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations belonging to the Coalition for Patient Privacy are holding a press conference calling on Congress to add much-needed privacy protections to any funding given to implement health IT systems in the proposed economic stimulus package.

The following can be attributed to Timothy Sparapani, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel:

“Only with proper privacy safeguards in place will the American people get behind the shift to health IT systems. If Congress is planning to spur the integration of health IT, members must remember the needs of their constituents and include protections for medical privacy. Privacy enables health IT – it does not prevent it – because privacy protections ensure the public will participate and utilize health IT.

“We do not allow the sale of blood or organs – nor can we allow the sale of personal medical records. Our individual medical history contains especially private information, and its release can have far-reaching consequences. Bills from the House of Representatives contain important protections including prohibiting the sale of medical records. The ACLU calls on Congress to ensure privacy requirements are tied to any funding provided for the integration of health IT systems.”

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