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Patients Gain Protections in Health Information Technology Law
Date:2/18/2009

  • Implement a process to explore segmenting particularly sensitive patient records (such as mental health records)

  • Provide a notice to the patient when privacy is breached

  • Examine technologies to help patients track how their records have been disclosed

  • Contain new strong patient enforcement measures and strengthen existing HIPAA enforcement measures

  • Require Health and Human Services to study expanding the HIPAA psychotherapy notes authorization requirement to include mental health testing data

  • Make psychologists eligible for funding provisions in the law to implement health information technology into their practices and to join into electronic networks in their communities

  • Preserve stronger state privacy laws and allow the continued application of state consent provisions

  • Require a study for providing for patient consent in electronic records systems

  • Protect the well-established psychotherapist-patient privilege currently recognized under federal and state law, and

  • Provide for continued Congressional oversight to ensure the bill's privacy and security standards are effective.

The HITECH Act is the most comprehensive HIT legislation introduced by Congress and represents a giant leap forward for psychologists and their patients, achieving strong patient records privacy and security protections.

The American Psychological Association
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SOURCE American Psychological Association
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