Americans should know what rules protect their health records, how those records will be used and shared, how they can obtain their records and, if necessary, how they can correct errors in their records. We recommend that Federal law provide consumers with significant new rights to be informed about how their health information will be used and who has seen that information. Specifically:
- Providers and payers should be required to advise patients in writing of their information practices. This notice should state clearly how the information will be used, and should also explain the patient's rights to limit disclosures.
- Patients should be able to see and get copies of their records, and propose corrections.
- A history of disclosures should be maintained by providers and payers, and be made accessible to patients.
Our intent is to incorporate basic fair information practices into the health care setting. The attached recommendations provide details for how to make these consumer controls real.