Jan 16, 2020 - Technology

HHS' pending data-sharing rules spark fight over patient records

Alex Azar, secretary of HHS
Alex Azar, secretary of HHS. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

There's an intense lobbying fight over Health and Human Services' pending health care data-sharing rules, Politico reports.

Between the lines: The fight involves hospitals, digital health firms and patient advocates.

Details: The rules would give patients access to their health information and allow them to share it with third-party apps.

  • Hospitals would have to send notifications when patients are admitted, discharged or transferred, information blocking would be penalized, and researchers and doctors would be allowed to share screenshots of software.

Health software giants like Epic and Cerner say the rules make patients vulnerable to venture capitalists and app developers taking advantage of their data while requiring the companies to give their trade secrets away.

  • But advocates of the policy, including HHS Secretary Alex Azar, say it would empower patients.

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