Dear AAPS Members and Friends in Oklahoma,
Last May, quietly and nearly unanimously, the Oklahoma legislature passed SB 1369, a bill that threatens the medical privacy of all Oklahomans. Shockingly, only two Senators and ten members of the House of Representatives voted against this dangerous legislation.
What does SB 1369 do?
Beginning July 1, 2023, all physicians and other medical professionals caring for Oklahoma patients are required to begin reporting patients’ medical records to the Oklahoma Statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE), a database under the control of a private corporation, MyHealth Access Network Inc.
While the program is overseen by the state Medicaid program (Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board), “the mandate applies to all licensed health care providers, not just Medicaid providers,” according to a recent rulemaking document.
Not only are doctors required to send your information to this central database, but according to the program’s FAQ, physicians are required to pay MyHealth Access Network, Inc a setup fee estimated to average $5000, in addition to an ongoing monthly “subscription” fee.
Proponents of the bill try to brush aside privacy concerns by claiming data in the Health Information Exchange is “HIPAA compliant.” Many Americans mistakenly think HIPAA protects their medical records, when in reality it facilitates a lack of privacy.
This invasion of your medical privacy and unfunded mandate on doctors must be stopped.
Please take a few moments now to send a note to the legislators representing you in Oklahoma City as well as the Governor, asking them to repeal the statewide health information exchange mandate imposed by SB 1369.
You can get your messages on the way with just a few clicks using the following link: https://p2a.co/GmZtJjp
Please consider personalizing the template message if you have additional information about this problems you think your legislators and the Governor should know.
“Hardship exemptions” for physicians who cannot comply are going to be available, but, according to the rules promulgated to administer the law: “The authorization of a hardship exemption does not exclude the provider from having to meet the requirements to report data to and utilize the SDE but will provide additional time for the provider to mitigate their hardship in doing so.”
In a recent hearing, the HIE coordinator promised that guidance on exemptions will be available sometime in April. Exemptions seem likely to become available to small and independent practices and practices without an EHR … for now.
For updates on the exemption process, please monitor the following page: https://oklahoma.gov/ohca/okshine/overview.html
Information for patients on opting out of HIE data sharing is available at: https://myhealthaccess.net/opt-out/