State privacy rules complicate EMR adoption

The heady task of computerizing medical records for hundreds of millions of Americans is made even tougher by a "patchwork" of state laws meant to protect patient privacy and confidentiality, two Los Angeles-based healthcare attorneys say.

Writing in the National Law Journal, Eric A. Klein and Christine C. Cohn make the case that a federal requirement to segregate particularly sensitive data like records of treatment for mental health or drug and alcohol addiction "creates uniquely complicated legal and practical problems" for designing interoperable EMRs.

State laws often conflict in this realm, the lawyers say, as a doctor in California could be liable for civil penalties for sharing HIV test results with another provider, while the same disclosure would be perfectly legal in New Mexico.

For details on how differing state laws may complicate EMR adoption:
- read the National Law Journal piece on the law.com site

Suggested Articles

Roche, which already owned a 12.6% stake in Flatiron Health, has agreed to buy the health IT company for $1.9 billion.

Allscripts managed to acquire two EHR platforms for just $50 million by selling off a portion of McKesson's portfolio for as much as $235 million.

Artificial intelligence could help physicians predict a patient's risk of developing a deadly infection.