ACLU Urges Congress to Ensure Privacy of Electronic Health Records

Americans worried medical secrets in new databases will be misused Washington, DC Today, lawmakers will be making decisions about the future of patients’ medical privacy as legislation aimed at pushing the health care industry toward a conversion from paper to electronic health records is due for a vote by a House panel.

The American Civil Liberties Union urges the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health to amend Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) and Ranking Member Joe Barton’s (R-TX) “PRO(TECH)T Act of 2008”  to protect and secure Americans’ intensely personal health information as it encourages the development of new record-keeping databases.

“You know how hard it is to get yourself or a loved one to the doctor’s office,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “Imagine having what’s under the gown displayed in a database without restrictions. If this legislation gets approved, Americans’ medical secrets will be extremely vulnerable to being lost, stolen or sold to the highest bidder.”

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