Consortium tests exchanging behavioral health data while maintaining privacy

Joseph Conn reports:

A federally backed consortium of behavioral health providers, administrators and health information exchange experts has joined the chorus of voices addressing the vexing issue of how to pass along medical records for behavioral health patients without violating their privacy rights.

The Behavioral Health Data Exchange Consortium, in a 105-page final report and addendum, demonstrated a limited capability for the successful exchange of such medical records, recommending that “electronic health-record technical solutions must be put forward that allow for the transfer, acceptance and storage of this data” in compliance with applicable federal and state privacy rules. It also recommended that initiatives be undertaken to encourage the adoption and use of these technical support systems.

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