Health Information Exchange
Why is health information exchange important?
The exchange of health information helps improve the quality of patient care and reduces costs in the following ways:
With health information from outside sources, your health care providers may get a more complete picture of your medical history and have it all in one place, reducing the likelihood of conflicting diagnoses, prescriptions and treatment plans.
It helps to get your health information to your providers quickly. This means less time searching, calling and faxing your information. You may avoid unnecessary return visits if your providers have near-immediate access to medical information necessary for your care.
With access to your medical records, your health care provider may not need to order tests or procedures that you have already completed at another medical facility.
If you see multiple doctors who participate in the health information exchange, they will be able to see a more complete picture of your health, and make more informed treatment decisions. The goal is for you to receive coordinated care more efficiently.
Who from “outside” health care organizations?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) prohibits health care providers from sharing your personal health information for most purposes other than treatment, payment, or health care operations without first obtaining special written authorization from you to do so. As a result, only participating HIE organizations that require your personal health information for purposes of treatment, or for verifying public or private insurance coverage, can request your information.
How does UCLA Health ensure the privacy and security of my health information, especially when it is being transferred or exchanged?
Your health information is protected by advanced systems that use many security measures. All systems must comply with the privacy and security provisions of HIPAA and similar state laws that may apply.
Can I opt out of one exchange and still participate in another exchange, or share one type of health information (lab results) but not another (ongoing conditions list)?
At this time, if you decide to opt out of exchanging your information because of concern about a particular type of information or provider, none of your information will be shared through our health information exchange network. In other words, opting out is an “all or nothing” concept and you cannot choose particular providers or types of information for electronic exchange and reject others. For example, if you opt out of health information exchange because you object to the sharing of your ongoing conditions list, neither your ongoing conditions list nor any other type of protected health information will be available for electronic exchange with any other health information exchange participant.
If I opt out of UCLA Health’s networks, does that mean I have opted out of all outside health information exchange networks?
No. Completion of UCLA Health’s opt-out form does not opt you out of other health information exchanges in which UCLA Health providers are not participants. If you wish to opt out of another network, you are responsible for arranging the other network. By opting out of our network, your health information will not be electronically shared by UCLA Health with outside organizations that are requesting this information through the health information exchange. But it may be sent to outside health care providers or organizations by other means such as fax or mail, if requested by your health care provider.
Does opting out of the health information exchange impact my care at UCLA Health?
Your choice to opt-out of the health information exchange will not affect your ability to access medical care. Opting-out will not prevent your caregivers from sharing your health information with authorized entities when necessary for public health or research purposes that are permitted or required by state and federal law. In cases of medical emergency, your doctor may request to view your health record to diagnose or treat your emergency medical condition and UCLA Health will make your records available under such circumstances and will audit these requests.