Health IT Advocates Call for Health ‘Data Independence Day’

In response to the recently loosened rules governing the “meaningful use” EHR Incentive Program, patient engagement advocates are calling for a health Data Independence Day to encourage patient access to their records.

In April, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it was relaxing some of the patient engagement requirements in meaningful use. The proposed rule in April changed the provision that requires eligible providers to prove that five percent of EHR users have viewed, downloaded, or transmitted information contained in their patient portal. Under the proposed rule, eligible providers only need to prove that “equal to or greater than 1” patient has interacted with their record.

Among those most critical of the change is Farzad Mostasari, MD, formerly the head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). In protest of the regulation changes, Mostashari has launched a campaign calling for July 4 to be a “day of action,” dubbing it “Data Independence Day,” according to Healthcare IT News.

Mostashari and other patient advocates, including Regina Holliday, are encouraging patients to request access to their own health data on this day by calling their providers and asking for records. The 4th falls on a Saturday this year, however.

Mostashari announced his plans for Data Independence Day at Health Datapalooza in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. As part of his advocacy, Mostashari set up a website to collect signatures, at www.getmyhealthdata.org.

Other high-profile health IT advocates who have joined Mostashari’s cause include former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra and Lygeia Ricciardi, former director of the Office of Consumer eHealth at ONC, according to Mostashari’s petition.

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