In an email sent to CEOs of some of the largest hospitals in the U.S. on January 22, 2020, Epic Systems urged its customers to oppose a new regulation that would make it easier to share medical information.
The anti–information blocking rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would make it easier for patients to access their health information for free and for hospitals to share patient records with other medical offices or hospitals. Companies, in turn, would face more difficulties in blocking access to that information.
While patient advocates have celebrated the proposed legislation, Epic is resisting the rule on the basis of patient privacy concerns. In the letter, Epic suggested that opening up health data interoperability would give third-party products and apps access to patient data without consent.
“We want the public to have computational right of access to health information so they can have control over apps of their choosing,” a spokesperson for the HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT said.
Epic CEO Judy Faulkner believes the rule will result in app developers accessing patient data without consent.