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Mayo Clinic: ‘no position’ on bill allowing Lou Gehrig medical records release

I don’t sense they’re planning any ticker-tape parades in Rochester for Phyllis Kahn’s bill, but here’s the Mayo Clinic’s statement on potential Minnesota consent law changes for medical records:

“Mayo Clinic values the privacy of its patients and feels patient medical records should be private. This bill would limit the period of time that medical records remain private. We are reviewing the bill but have no position at this time.”

The bill would let researchers probe whether concussions played a role in Lou Gehrig’s death, now attributed to ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

Mayo has refused to release the records, but Kahn’s bill would allow medical providers decide if a patient has been dead 50 years or longer, has no direct descendants who object, and no countervailing will or medical directive.

By the way, I spoke to a heath care lawyer this afternoon who said that for providers, the legal burden of establishing that there are no descendants or will/directive — especially at least a half-century after a patient’s death — could well mean the data stays locked up.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Fluffy Rabinowitz on 02/05/2011 - 06:01 am.

    Hey, Phyllis, Could you add Hemmingway’s name to your bill? I would sure like to snoop around in his records! Can someone explain to me why there has not been a Ethics Investigation started due to this gross HIPPA Violation?

  2. Submitted by David Brauer on 02/05/2011 - 07:17 am.

    Fluffy – just for the record, it’s HIPAA. I think as far as Kahn’s bill being a violation, remember the feds are proposing an even less restrictive rule (see previous story). I’d guess Kahn’s bill would instantly allow such look-sees in the event the feds change their standard.

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