The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is asking if patient privacy laws are preventing coordination among nursing homes and other providers.
Officials from the agency submitted a proposed request for information to the White House Office of Management and Budget this week. The office will now have 90 days to review the request. Skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, docs and other stakeholders are asked to comment on whether Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules are impeding them from working in tandem.
If approved, the request for information would seek to explore several possible ways of opening up channels between providers, including creating a safe harbor for the “good faith” disclosure of patients’ personal health information for care coordination and case management, and the possible disclosure of info without a patent’s explicit consent.
Provider groups, such as the American Hospital Association, have argued that patient privacy laws have prevented them from sharing info with nursing homes to deliver more value-based care. In a survey of hospital tech leaders released last month, only about 60% of those polled said their electronic health records incorporate info from SNFs.