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Maine Health Information At Risk Of Disclosure

Maine residents’ health care information remains at risk of disclosure. Even after the recent revelations of the disclosure of patient information at Anthem, the State of Maine continues to use an opt-out model for collecting confidential medical information.

Private medical information is collected, retained, and redistributed by a corporation, HealthInfoNet, based out of Portland, Maine. The corporation discloses on their website that they collect information on essentially all Maine residents.

The HIE went live in 2009 and now contains records for close to all of Maine residents and is connected to the majority of health care facilities in Maine. These facilities include hospitals, physician practices, federally qualified health centers, long-term care and home health facilities, behavioral health providers, and independent laboratories.

HealthInfoNet further discloses that “The HIE has just over a 1% opt-out rate.” While some medical providers offer patients to opt-out in their office, many others do not.

Opting out of the medical database is becoming a more important part of protecting your health information and identity information. The HealthInfoNet strategic plan shows that the corporation is planning to expand “prescription drug data collection” and distribute Maine patient records nationally.

Leverage national connectivity to support and expand work with the Veterans Administration, Social Security Administration and other authorized parties. Serve as a potential broker with national partners to provide analytic and other HIE tools.

To be sure that your information is not included in the database, you must use the online opt-out form available on the HealthInfoNet web site.