ACLU criticizes health IT bill

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) believes that a healthcare IT bill working its way through Congress could be a threat to patient privacy.

The ACLU warned that H.R. 6357 -- the Protecting Records, Optimizing Treatment, and Easing Communication Through Healthcare Technology Act of 2008, or the PRO(TECH)T Act -- has insufficient privacy provisions and leaves patients vulnerable to bad, lost, stolen, or misused electronic health records data.

The ACLU has expressed its concerns to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as the House Ways and Means Committee's subcommittee on health. The ACLU would like the legislation to be amended to include the incorporation of privacy protections into healthcare IT systems, and it urged the committee to define medical privacy as patient control of electronic medical records.

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EHR deployment presents familiar obstacles, February 27, 2007

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