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EHR companies refuted claims of violating HIPAA

EHR companies refuted claims of violating HIPAA

The EHR Association (EHRA) Executive Committee has fired back at accusations that EHR companies are partially to blame for interoperability problems, claiming health data exchange is progressing quickly.

The association published a response to an earlier post on Health Affairs Blog that accused EHR and health IT companies of monetizing the custody of patient protected health information (PHI).

Former ONC Chief Privacy Officer Lucia Savage urged the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to enforce provisions of HIPAA prohibiting business associates such as EHR developers from using PHI for business operations. She stated some EHR companies may be leveraging ownership of patient PHI for profit.

“Building a revenue stream out of charging exorbitant fees to transmit the protected health information is arguably the EHR developer’s business, not the provider or hospital’s health care operations,” she wrote.

“Moreover, in the HITECH Act, Congress made it clear that individuals have a right to transmit at little or no cost their data directly from an EHR to the location of the individuals’ choosing, even if that is a competing provider, hospital, or EHR developer,” she added.

In response, EHRA called these assertions “inflammatory and inaccurate” and noted that the accusations undermine the progress EHR vendors and regulatory bodies have already made toward enabling interoperability…


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