The Patient Privacy Rights consumer advocacy coalition is calling on the HIT Policy Committee, a federal advisory board mandated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to set the bar high for privacy as the government implements the law's health IT provisions. "The health care and health data mining industries will not willingly build and use privacy-enhancing electronic health records and systems unless you act to set a high bar," Deborah Peel, M.D., founder of the coalition, testified on Sept. 18 before the policy committee. "Congress set a high bar in the ARRA. Congress recognized that the status quo for privacy will not ensure trust and required HIT systems to add new privacy rights very quickly." Peel recommended the committee adopt the following broad policies to ensure consumer engagement, choice and trust:

Peel's full testimony, and testimony on privacy issues from other individuals and organizations, is available at http://healthit.hhs.gov/portal/server.pt. Click on Federal Advisory Committees, then Health IT Policy Committee, then scroll down to the Sept. 18 meeting materials. This article can also be found at HealthDataManagement.com.

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