Proposed HHS rule would require insurers to submit detailed patient healthcare information

By Industry News Release
09:39 AM

Jericho Systems Corporation, the pioneer in Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC) technology, today reinforced its commitment to protecting the privacy rights of patients, healthcare providers, insurers, and other government agencies while securely sharing sensitive healthcare information.

HHS is considering three approaches to gathering this information, with each meaning that bureaucrats at the State and/or Federal level would have access to the electronic health records of every American. HHS itself states in the Proposed Rule docket that ”we recognize this approach may raise concerns related to consumer privacy and standard submission formats.”

proposed rule* from Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now raising new confidentiality concerns by requiring insurance companies to submit detailed healthcare information about their patients.

In an September 23, 2011, op-ed article for the Washington Examiner, Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R - Kansas) writes, “The federal government does not exactly have a stellar track record when it comes to managing private information about its citizens. Why should we trust that the federal government would somehow keep all patient records confidential? In one case, a government employee’s laptop containing information about 26.5 million veterans and their spouses was stolen from the employee’s home.

“The ability of the Federal government to spy on, review, and approve individuals’ private patient-doctor interactions is an excessive power-grab… this type of data collection is an egregious violation of patient-doctor confidentiality and business privacy. It is like J. Edgar Hoover in a lab coat.”

Steven W. Mosher, acclaimed author, speaker and president of the Population Research Institute, raises similar privacy concerns about the proposed HHS rule in a blog posting on PRI’s website. Stating that the only solution is for individuals to insist on the right to control their own e-health records, Mosher says, “The good news is that the software technology that allows patients to do just this already exists. Developed by a Dallas-based company called Jericho Systems, it puts the patient in charge, allowing him to specify what doctors, practices, and institutions are allowed access to his medical records… eliminating the danger to the patient of indiscriminate or inadvertent disclosure of private health information.”

Jericho Systems Corporation Enables Secure, Controlled Sharing

Jericho Systems’ patented ABAC technology, selected as a key security component of the new Nationwide Health Information Network, protects privacy rights in the sharing of healthcare data. In addition to capturing and enforcing the organizational security and privacy policies of healthcare providers and insurers, Jericho’s EnterSpace Decisioning Service (ESDS) enables medical records to be “tagged” with fine-grained patient directives for their use and disclosure. When individual healthcare data is requested, the ESDS rules engine combines those policies and directives with other attributes of the data to make real-time decisions to either allow or deny access.

“At the 2011 HIMSS healthcare conference, Jericho Systems partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to implement and demonstrate the recommendations of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) for enforcing patient-controlled privacy and sensitivity tagging,” said Duane DeCouteau, Jericho’s managing director of software.

Jericho Systems CEO Brynn Mow commented, “Jericho has worked extensively with large healthcare providers, government agencies such as the VA and DoD, and various standards bodies. We’ve proven that our ESDS technology can be easily integrated into the data-sharing workflow between healthcare organizations and the Nationwide Health Information Network. We’re confident that Jericho offers the most adaptive and reliable platform to address the obvious privacy and confidentiality concerns that accompany any sharing of healthcare records, including these new regulations proposed by HHS.”

About Jericho Systems Corporation

Dallas-based Jericho Systems Corporation provides enterprise-scalable decisioning and privilege management solutions, with its largest customers representing the healthcare, DoD and intelligence, and homeland security communities.

Jericho's EnterSpace Decisioning Service (ESDS) software and professional services facilitate information security, regulatory compliance, quality and efficiency. ESDS also improves collaboration and leverages the value of data by enabling timely and secure sharing of sensitive information - not only between internal groups, but also with external organizations.

For more information or to arrange a product demonstration, please call 972-231-2000, email, or visit