October 11, 2012 – Four Republican committee leaders in the U.S. House recently called for the halt and fixing of the electronic health records meaningful use program, but the Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom is asking Congress to go further.

The council, which advocates an open health care market with strong privacy protections and reduced dependency on government programs, is urging congressional members to replace the meaningful use program “with private market solutions that are coupled with consent requirements and individual responsibility for private health records.” The organization also wants states to implement “true” privacy laws as permitted under the HIPAA privacy rule.

Twila Brase, R.N., president of the council, issued the following statement: “States cannot continue to allow their citizens’ private health data to float around in a proverbial IT cloud without the patient’s consent. At stake is patient trust in the entire health care system and with it access to timely, effective, accurate medical care. Left to its own devices, the market would fix interoperability issues on its own, while creating better protections for sensitive health data, or else patients would solve the problem themselves by carrying their private data on portable media such as DVDs or thumb drives. The problems that the government continues to ignore are privacy and patient consent; no EHR program should move forward until every American has a guaranteed right of consent over the use and sharing of their private medical records.”

More information on the Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom is available at cchfreedom.org.

This story originally appeared at Health Data Management.

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