Proposed Legislation Will Give Medical Record Clearinghouses Ability to Share Data with Patients | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Proposed Legislation Will Give Medical Record Clearinghouses Ability to Share Data with Patients

December 21, 2017
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) has introduced a bill, the Ensuring Patient Access to Healthcare Records Act, that gives medical record clearinghouses, such as Experian and Availity, the ability to share health data and analysis to patients, provider organizations, public health agencies and drug companies.

According to a press release from Rep. McMorris Rodgers, the bill , H.R. 4613, “gives medical records clearinghouses the ability to provide patients with their own comprehensive healthcare records and allows them to analyze claims data for the good of public health.”

Each year, healthcare clearinghouses process hundreds of millions of transactions safely and securely from more than 5,000 hospitals, 900,000 doctors, 66,000 pharmacies and 20,000 labs across the country. These records include information about the provider, the diagnosis, and the treatment for each episode of care. Today, clearinghouses have the capability to link this data and build longitudinal health records to provide patients with a comprehensive health record, according to McMorris Rodgers’ press release.

However, clearinghouses are currently unable to share data widely with patients and other stakeholders due to the administration’s rules implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

The bill specifically states that the legislation would “allow the use of claims, eligibility, and payment data to produce reports, analyses, and presentations to benefit Medicare, and other similar health insurance programs, entities, researchers, and health care providers, to help develop cost saving approaches, standards, and reference materials and to support medical care and improved payment models.”

“Even in the age of technology, it can be difficult for patients to obtain their comprehensive health records. Whether it’s because of a move to a new state, switching providers, an unexpected visit to the emergency room, or a new doctor, patients must track down their own records from numerous different sources based on what they can or cannot remember,” McMorris Rodgers said in a statement. “It shouldn’t be this burdensome. Our bill gives patients the ability to see a snapshot of their health records at just a simple request, allowing them to make better, more informed healthcare decisions in a timely manner.”

The legislators who introduced the bill say that clearinghouses can also analyze this data to provide real-world solutions to address important public policy goals through tracking patient outcomes and broad-based analysis of readmissions, comorbidities, and adverse outcomes across the entire continuum of service providers; near real-time tracking of significant disease outbreaks or epidemics; and improving and allowing for greater access to new drugs and therapies.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Study will Leverage Connecticut HIE to Help Prevent Suicides

A new study will aim to leverage CTHealthLink, a physician-led health information exchange (HIE) in Connecticut, to help identify the factors leading to suicide and to ultimately help prevent those deaths.

Duke Health First to Achieve HIMSS Stage 7 Rating in Analytics

North Carolina-based Duke Health has become the first U.S. healthcare institution to be awarded the highest honor for analytic capabilities by HIMSS Analytics.

NIH Releases First Dataset from Adolescent Brain Development Study

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the release of the first dataset from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which will enable scientists to conduct research on the many factors that influence brain, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Boston Children's Accelerates Data-Driven Approach to Clinical Research

In an effort to bring a more data-driven approach to clinical research, Boston Children’s Hospital has joined the TriNetX global health research network.

Paper Records, Films Most Common Type of Healthcare Data Breach, Study Finds

Despite the high level of hospital adoption of electronic health records and federal incentives to do so, paper and films were the most frequent location of breached data in hospitals, according to a recent study.

AHA Appoints Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has announced that John Riggi has joined the association as senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk.