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Oregon Passes Landmark Bill to Protect Patient Privacy in Insurance Communications

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon today praised the Oregon Senate for passing a landmark bill to protect patient privacy.

House Bill 2758 allows patients to ask insurance carriers to send communications directly to the member receiving services, not the primary policyholder. Unwanted disclosure of health information through insurance communications affects all people enrolled as a dependent in a health plan, especially minors and young adults insured on their parents' plan, survivors of domestic abuse and individuals seeking mental health care, substance abuse treatment and other sensitive services.

"Without clear confidentiality protections, teens and young adults insured on their parents' health plan may be deterred from seeking care, and this presents serious public health concerns," said Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham), chair of the Senate Health Care Committee and a retired public health nurse. "This bill will also be especially valuable for victims of domestic violence. During our committee hearing, we heard numerous stories about vulnerable patients who needed this key confidentiality protection."

The bill passed the House of Representatives last month with a 34-25 vote, and was adopted 17-12 by the Senate today.

"Private should mean private," said Mary Nolan, Interim Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. "A national poll shows that 78% of Americans feel that it is very important that their medical records be kept confidential. We know that strong protections around confidentiality will ensure that all plan members patients can access the health care they need - leading to healthier people, healthier families and a healthier Oregon."

House Bill 2758 also has the support of Basic Rights Oregon, Sexual Assault Task Force, American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, Oregon Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Cascade AIDS Project, Oregon Latino Health Coalition, Oregon Nurses Association, Cambia Health Solutions and Providence Health and Services.

It now goes to Governor Kate Brown for her consideration.

Posted on June 8, 2015 in News.
 
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