Mar 142023
 March 14, 2023  Posted by  Featured News, Laws, U.S.

Jarred Burk and Alex Rosa-Figueroa report:

Therapists and counselors are pushing back against a new Oklahoma law requiring them to share some patient information with a state database.

The state’s Health Information Exchange was created last year and requires health care providers to enter certain patient information into a database.

The database would be maintained by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, and OHCA officials say the data would be secure.

However, critics are concerned about the database, and say it may not be enough to protect mental health information.

Read more at KSWO.

This type of mandated disclosure of mental health information sounds like a terrible idea and a huge data breach and extortion attempt just waiting to happen. In my conversations with Deborah Peel, President of Patient Privacy Rights and a practicing clinician, she would often tell me how patients would and could pay cash so that she wouldn’t keep any written records on them. If that’s what happens in Oklahoma — that those who can afford to pay cash can find therapists willing not to comply with the law — that would result in just more discrimination in access to mental health services in this country and would actually defeat the state’s intention of analyzing data on quality and use of services.

Where are the AMA, the APAs, and other organizations — including the constitutional lawyers who might argue that this law chills freedom of association?

This is the first that PogoWasRight has heard about this Oklahoma law, but will be keeping an eye out for more coverage and developments.  The state’s Healthcare Information System Act can be found here.

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