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Psychoanalysts Laud Members of Congress for Inclusion of Privacy Protections in Stimulus Bill
Date:2/15/2009

NEW YORK, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Psychoanalytic Association expresses its deep gratitude to members of Congress and their staffs for including strong privacy protections for mental health information in the health IT implementation in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

At a time when the confidence of Americans to preserve their houses, jobs and health insurance has been deeply shaken it is even more important to preserve the confidence of Americans in the health care system.

More than two million Americans each year fail to seek treatment for mental illness because of privacy concerns, and the incidence of mental illness is increasing with the rising anxiety produced by a deteriorating economy. APsaA is particularly grateful to Congress for recognizing and preserving the psychotherapist-patient privilege which is recognized by all 50 states and the District of Columbia and under federal common law. As the Supreme Court has noted in Jaffee v Redmond, the privilege is essential for effective psychotherapy.

APsaA also expresses its gratitude to Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) who fought tirelessly to ensure that the health information technology provisions of the bill contained the privacy protections that American want and expect. APsaA was honored to provide much of the research on the law and to assist with crafting of the privacy provisions on behalf of all Americans. APsaA looks forward to implementation of a national electronic health information system that, consistent with standards of professional ethics, puts the interests of the patients first. The association is committed to protecting patient privacy in order to safeguard effective health care as expressed in the following position statement:

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SOURCE American Psychoanalytic Association
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