05 Mar Senate, Assembly pass bill to accommodate patient data exchange
Madison, Wis. – On voice votes, the State Senate and Assembly have passed a bill that would pave the way for the electronic exchange of patient data between different health systems and facilities.
Gov. Jim Doyle has expressed support for the legislation and is expected to sign the measure into law, according to Kevin Hayden, secretary of the state Department of Health and Family Services.
The bill would remove barriers to electronic patient data exchange in Wisconsin, in effect modifying a state statute that protects the privacy of people with mental illness.
Efforts among Madison hospitals to implement patient data exchange has been put on hold due to these barriers.
Language in existing state statutes makes the exchange of healthcare information of mentally ill patients difficult because of the requirement for patients to provide informed written consent, which is not always easy to obtain.
The bills reduce restrictions on the electronic sharing of certain health information without written consent of patients, and attempt to modernize privacy laws governing confidentiality in a way that is consistent with federal policies.
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