CIA, Justice, Other Federal Depts. Won’t Get Health IT Data, Blumenthal Says
There's no need to fear that patients' health information will end up in the hands of CIA officers, FBI agents or other federal agencies that deal in security and law enforcement, David Blumenthal, the national coordinator for health information technology, said last week, according to Modern Healthcare. He "denied allegations that a framework for selecting data transmission standards for the proposed national health information network would configure the system to afford federal control over patient data and funnel that information to federal agencies, including the CIA, Justice Department and National Security Agency."
The allegations, said to be circulating in the "blogosphere," apparently stemmed from news that Blumenthal's office is testing the National Information Exchange Model, a system that helps government agencies develop standards for exchanging data. The NIEM was developed by the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security and is still used to facilitate intelligence exchange, among other things. But, Blumenthal said, his office would not participate in any exchange project that would allow health information to be controlled by those agencies (Conn, 3/30).