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Health Information Technology and Privacy: Is There a Path to Consensus?

Friday, February 29, 2008

Promoting health information technology (IT) has been a common thread in the campaigns of the 2008 presidential candidates’ health reform proposals. It is proposed as a means of achieving efficiency, improving quality and cutting costs in the delivery of health care. In addition, there is bipartisan support in both houses of Congress for expanding health IT. Yet, one bill that would do so remains stalled in the House, another in the Senate.

Why do Americans trust IT when they do their banking, make airline reservations, pay their bills, and file their tax returns, but not to access their medical information electronically? Some believe that technology poses a serious threat to Americans’ medical privacy rights; such people would add strict privacy protections to any health IT legislation. Others assert that the privacy risks are inconsequential, and that all health care providers should use electronic health records and participate in health information exchange networks.

What’s the best way to balance the move to electronic health records and other health IT applications, with its acknowledged increase in efficiency, against the need to protect the privacy of individuals’ medical histories? What incentives and regulatory requirements might be needed for more providers to implement electronic medical record keeping? To respond to consumers’ privacy concerns? Can the market alone deliver adequate privacy protections? Is there enough common ground among stakeholders to allow a consensus proposal to advance?

To address these and related questions, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Divided We Fail Initiative are sponsoring a Feb. 29 luncheon briefing. Panelists will be: Jodi Daniel, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; Deborah Peel, Coalition for Patient Privacy; and John Rother, AARP. Ed Howard of the Alliance will moderate.


Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
Jodi Daniel, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Speaker
Deborah Peel, Patient Privacy Rights, Speaker
John Rother, AARP, Speaker

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: Health Information Technology and Privacy (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 2/29/2008
Event Summary: Health Information Technology and Privacy: Is There a Path to Consensus? (Word Document), 2/28/2008
Full Webcast/Podcast: Health Information Technology and Privacy

The transcript, full webcast and podcast for this briefing are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Jodi Daniel (PowerPoint), 2/29/2008
Deborah Peel (PowerPoint), 2/29/2008
John Rother (PowerPoint), 2/29/2008

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

Groups Push Physicians and Patients to Embrace Electronic Health Records (Adobe Acrobat PDF), JAMA, 2/6/2008
State e-Health Activities in 2007: Findings from a State Survey (Adobe Acrobat PDF), The Commonwealth Fund, 2/1/2008
Privacy, Security, and the Regional Health Information Organization (Adobe Acrobat PDF), California Health Care Foundation, 6/1/2007
Whose Data Is It Anyway? Expanding Consumer Control Over Personal Health Information (Adobe Acrobat PDF), California Health Care Foundation, 2/1/2008
Review of the Adoption and Implementation of Health IT Standards by ONC (Adobe Acrobat PDF), California Health Care Foundation, 9/1/2007
Divided We Fail: HIT Endorsement, Principles, and Supporting Organizations (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Divided We Fail Coalition, 2/1/2008
Health Information Technology: Consumer Principles (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Divided We Fail Coalition, 3/1/2006
Side-by-side Summary of Selected Health IT and Privacy Legislation (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Divided We Fail Coalition, 2/25/2007
Privacy and Security Solutions for Interoperable Health Information Exchange (Adobe Acrobat PDF), RTI International, 12/20/2007
Consumer Partnership for e-Health Position Statement (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Divided We Fail Coalition, 1/1/2008
Coalition for Patient Privacy - 2007 Privacy Principles (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Coalition for Patient Privacy, 1/1/2007
Health Record Banking: A practical approach to the national health information infrastructure (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 6/21/2006
Wired Act's Sponsors Acknowledge Need for Strong Privacy Protections Which Are Contained Only.. (Adobe Acrobat PDF), J. Pyles, 1/1/2006
Health Information Privacy Protections Under Federal and State Law (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 10/23/2006
Building a Health Information Network (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Progressive Policy Institute, 5/1/2007
List of Experts (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 2/29/2008
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 2/29/2008
Health Information Technology and Privacy: Is There a Path to Consensus? (Word Document), Word Document, 2/28/2008

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Survey Finds Americans Want Electronic Personal Health Information to Improve Own Health Care (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Markle Foundation, 11/1/2006
Health Information Technology: Efforts Continue but Comprehensive Privacy Approach Needed (Adobe Acrobat PDF),GAO, 6/19/2007
Health Information Technology: HHS Is Pursuing Efforts to Advance Nationwide Implementation (Adobe Acrobat PDF),GAO, 2/14/2008
Threats to Your Genetic Privacy, US News and World Report, 11/16/2007
Health Information Technology: Can HIT Lower Costs and Improve Quality, RAND Health, 1/1/2005
Google to Store Patients' Health Records in Test of New Service, Associated Press, 2/21/2008
How the Public Views Privacy and Health Research, IOM/Harris Interactive, 11/1/2007
Information Technology Comes to Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, 6/14/2007


Jodi Daniel, of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology -- speaker at the February 29th briefing cosponsored by the Divided We Fail Initiative.

Deborah Peel, of Patient Privacy Rights -- speaker at the February 29 briefing cosponsored by the Divided We Fail Initiative.

John Rother, of AARP -- speaker at the February 29 briefing cosponsored by the Divided We Fail Initiative.


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