Wisconsin to seek health data privacy law change

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon
Google icon

As part of a plan to boost the use of health IT, Wisconsin may soon change its health data privacy rules to make it easier for organizations to transfer non-HIPAA covered information without a patient’s consent.

According to Kevin Hayden, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, a bill is expected to be introduced in the forthcoming session of the state legislature, which is scheduled to adjourn by the end of March, reported Government Health IT.

The new disclosure rules would allow information such as name, address, name of mental health provider, diagnoses and medication, among others, to be shared without consent, reported Government Health IT.

Deborah Peel, who heads Patient Privacy Rights, said the new law would be a “privacy destructive rule” and would particularly affect people with mental illnesses. She said a lot of states are trying to do things to strengthen privacy protections, according to Government Health IT.

“In that context Wisconsin has got it completely the wrong way around. Privacy is not a barrier (to data sharing)—people just want to be asked,” Peel said.