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Electronic Medical Records: Privacy Risks and Opportunities

Lawyer Marty Robins recently penned an article for The Huffington Post, in which he examined some of the privacy concerns that stem from the new “meaningful use” regulations for electronic medical records.

The new regulations incentivize doctors and providers to switch to EMR in exchange for reimbursements. However, as noted by Mr. Robins, “This promises to improve the quality and lower the cost of health care by allowing great improvements in the analysis and sharing of health information. The problem is that in their zeal to expedite the use of EMR’s, Dr. Blumenthal and the administration are giving short shrift to the matter of their security and accuracy.”

Referencing Deven McGraw of the Center for Democracy and Technology, Mr. Robins points out that security is largely ignored in the new regulations. “Unfortunately, using the meaningful use objectives to achieve significant advances in privacy and security appears to be off the table. Maintaining patient privacy and data security remain stated goals of meaningful use, but nothing is required to achieve this goal beyond the mandatory security risk assessment and response. CMS rejected recommendations from the Health IT Policy Committee to make compliance with state and federal privacy and security laws a meaningful use requirement”

Mr. Robins calls on the Administration to publicly commit to and making the development and use of only state of the art technology and practices which maximize accuracy and minimize security risks.

His entire article can be viewed here.

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