Hundreds of health sector protesters march to fight for mental health privacy
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Hundreds of Oklahoma health care protesters marched from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority building to the Oklahoma State Capitol on Saturday to fight for health privacy mental.
A new bill, if passed, is set to come into force on July 1 and would require all healthcare providers to enter patient records into an online database.
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Many protesters on Saturday claimed it was a violation of patients’ rights and privacy.
The march comes less than a week before the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s board of directors is expected to vote on the new law for good.
“The way this will impact our patients and customers is that they will have fewer privacy protections. They will be less able to protect their mental health records. And we just want to make sure people understand that mental health records are more important, they’re more private than your typical medical records,” said Sabrina DeQuasie, Oklahoma Providers of Privacy.
Organizers of Saturday’s protest said throughout the march that they wanted to educate patients and customers about how it would affect their privacy.
“A lot of people don’t understand that we have rules in place that separate that from your medical record… But it’s also going to change how your providers are even able to provide you with services. And that means we’re going to have to give the state information that we think is private and that we shouldn’t give them our rights,” DeQuasie said.
Protesters also said they feared it could drive healthcare providers off the field.
“It is a requirement that is enforced, and we should be doing it… The state is not involved in their health care. They don’t give money. They’re just asking us to put their information in a state database. And they said they were going to use it for demographic information and things like that. And I think it’s going to be really harmful for people who need advice, ”said Carla, a protester and health worker.
On the other hand, the secretary of Oklahoma Healthcare Authority, Kevin Corbett, said that this new law will open a new path in the field of health care.
“We think this is something that will add to the coordination of care, better treatment, better flow of information,” said Secretary Kevin Corbett, Oklahoma Health Care Authority.
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Corbett also wanted to reassure everyone that there will be “very strict access” in terms of who can view the database.
“There’s a lot of tight security around that data, as you’d expect. It’s personal health information that we want to make sure we all have a responsibility to protect,” Corbett said.
The OHCA Board of Directors will vote on Wednesday, March 22 at 2 p.m. KFOR will then inform you of the result.
You can read more about the invoice here.