Patient Privacy Concerns At Florida Department Of Health

By: Matt Horn Email
By: Matt Horn Email

By Matt Horn
August 28, 2013

A security breach earlier this summer has the State Department of Health scrambling to keep your information private. Skeptics say they don’t believe new proposals will protect patient privacy.

Florida’s online prescription database is ground zero for security issues.

”We wanted to make sure that we feel like its secure. Security is priority number one for the Department of Health on health information,” said Deputy Secretary Marty Stubblefield.

Earlier this summer the Department of Health was forced to review security after 33-hundred Floridians medical information wrongfully made it into the hands of 5 attorneys in Volusia County. D-O-H says even after the breach the department’s number one mission is keeping people’s information private.

“The biggest changes on who we accept as having access being able to deny access as well as being able to say this person is too much,” said Stubblefield.

This week the department held a public hearing on the security issues. Opponents worry the changes the department is proposing, including restricting law enforcement access, wont do anything to protect patient privacy.

”We really hope the DOH is willing to go back to the table to consider recommendations that the ACLU put forth and come back with something that sort of makes sense,” said ACLU lobbyist, Pamela Burch Fort.

Critics fear DOH will make security changes without adding the feedback from the public hearing – forcing the skeptics to rely on lawmakers next spring at the capitol.

“At some point we will be reviewing the next iteration of the proposed rules,” said Burch Fort.

The agency says it will publish its proposal in September and take public comments before adopting any changes.

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