The New York Civil Liberties Union says privacy protections are needed for patients as the state develops electronic networks for sharing medical records.
The advocacy group says New York has invested more than $840 million to develop electronic networks for medical records. The networks eventually will allow health care professionals and insurers to access a patient's complete medical history.
NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman says that while easily shareable records can improve medical care, they also can pose a threat to privacy. The group is proposing a series of steps to protect patient privacy, including an opt-out option for patients.
The NYCLU also says that New York should prohibit the health information-sharing networks from selling patients' private health data.