The U.S. Supreme Court last year overturned Roe v. Wade, which raised extreme concerns around health outcomes, equity and data privacy.
On June 16, HIMSS issued recommendations to the Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights to strengthen data privacy surrounding reproductive healthcare in response to the agency’s proposed rule.
The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) proposed the HIPAA Privacy Rule To Support Reproductive Health Care Privacy, which aims to improve data privacy and protect patients around lawful reproductive healthcare. In its June 16 letter, HIMSS strongly supported the overall goals of this proposed rule, which “prohibits uses and disclosures of protected health information (PHI) for criminal, civil, or administrative investigations or proceedings against individuals” for seeking, obtaining, providing or facilitating reproductive healthcare that is lawful under the circumstances in which it was provided.
Once finalized, the rule will promote access to lawful, safe healthcare services, while ensuring patient information remains private within an interoperable health ecosystem. Consistent with our position on protection of all patient data, HIMSS believes it is critical to support the establishment of policies that ensure privacy, data protection, and secure information exchange and to eliminate the potential misuse of patient information. Advancing the state of information privacy across the health sector should be supported to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of patient information and ensure the continued and effective delivery of safe, secure, and coordinated patient care.
HIMSS recommendations include:
The HIMSS policy team works closely with the U.S. Congress, federal decision makers, state legislatures and governments, and other organizations to recommend policy, and legislative and regulatory solutions to improve health through information and technology.