HHS Secretary Proposes Efforts to Empower Patients to Access Their Health Information
Last week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius proposed new rules that would expand the rights of patients to access their health information through the use of health information technology (IT). Specifically, the new rules would empower patients and allow them to gain access to test results reports directly from labs. They would ensure that labs covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) provide such information, upon request, directly to patients or their personal representatives. The announcement came at the first-ever HHS Consumer Health IT Summit, which brought consumers, providers, and the public and private sectors together to discuss how best to empower consumers to be partners in their health and care through health IT.
[HHS Press Release, September 12, 2011: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/09/20110912a.html ]