Health information laws can be coordinated with health system delivery improvements under EPSDT

September 5, 2013

A new analysis by researchers at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) examines the relationship between health information laws and health system improvements for children and adolescents under Medicaid's Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit. EPSDT ensures comprehensive coverage of children's health care needs, and its benefits are of particular importance for children and adolescents with physical and mental health conditions that can lead to lifelong disability when not addressed during the developmental years.

The report analyzes a wide range of laws governing health information, such as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, state confidentiality laws, and other laws related to in schools, , and settings. Funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and under subcontract from NORC at the University of Chicago, the analysis is designed to provide an overview of one of the most complex areas of health law while also offering real-world guidance on broadly aligning health care for children and adolescents with the legal principles that govern the collection and disclosure of health information.

"Access to health information by providers and caregivers across medical and educational settings is critical to ensuring children and adolescents receive coordinated, quality health care," said lead author of the report Jane Hyatt Thorpe, JD, an associate professor of health policy at SPHHS. "While various federal and state laws governing health information are often construed as barriers, this analysis breaks down those barriers and highlights opportunities for effective information sharing across care teams and medical and educational settings."

The report notes that without access to patient health information, tests may be unnecessarily repeated, health care and benefits may be delayed or withheld and care may be fragmented or episodic. In the end, such problems may lead to increased health care costs as well as the risk that children and teens with special needs will not get the care they need, the authors note.

"This analysis, the first of its kind, demonstrates that legal principles governing are fully consistent with efforts now underway to achieve greater integration between health care for children and and other critical services such as education and day care and programs offering community-based services to teens," said co-author Sara Rosenbaum, JD, the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy at SPHHS. "With this report as a guide, we hope that the nation's most vulnerable children and teens will be able to get the full range of care and coordinated services they need to develop optimally."

Explore further: Habilitative services under health reform faces uncertainty, new analysis says

More information: To get a copy of the report or find out more about Health Information & the Law, visit www.healthinfolaw.org/article/ … rivacy-and-confide-0

Related Stories

Habilitative services under health reform faces uncertainty, new analysis says

June 5, 2013
Despite their inclusion as essential health benefits, habilitative services face an uncertain future under the Affordable Care Act, according to a new analysis done at the George Washington University School of Public Health ...

Access to mental health care lacking for children, teens across the US

April 2, 2013
Everyday, news reports detail the impact of the deficiencies in the nation's mental health care services. Even more startling, a survey from the University of Michigan reveals that many adults across the U.S. believe children ...

Health-care disparities exist for children with autism spectrum disorders, researcher says

June 11, 2012
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) require an array of specialized health care services. With these services come higher costs for parents and insurance providers. University of Missouri researchers compared costs ...

Women's health must be priority for state health exchange marketplaces, new report says

March 5, 2013
Women's issues play a major role in the health of the nation and should be a key consideration for policymakers as they design and set up the new insurance exchanges, according to a report co-authored by policy experts at ...

Immigration bill offers big economic boost but no major health benefits

August 8, 2013
A landmark immigration bill passed by the Senate would create new pathways to citizenship and provide a much-needed boost to the U.S. economy but would do little to ease immigration-related disparities in health care, according ...

Report offers an in-depth examination of health centers' role in family planning

March 7, 2013
A report released today by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) and the RCHN Community Health Foundation offers the first-ever in-depth examination of health centers' role in ...

Recommended for you

Sugar not so sweet for mental health

July 27, 2017
Sugar may be bad not only for your teeth and your waistline, but also your mental health, claimed a study Thursday that was met with scepticism by other experts.

Could insufficient sleep be adding centimeters to your waistline?

July 27, 2017
Adults in the UK who have poor sleep patterns are more likely to be overweight and obese and have poorer metabolic health, according to a new study.

Vitamin E-deficient embryos are cognitively impaired even after diet improves

July 27, 2017
Zebrafish deficient in vitamin E produce offspring beset by behavioral impairment and metabolic problems, new research at Oregon State University shows.

The role of dosage in assessing risk of hormone therapy for menopause

July 27, 2017
When it comes to assessing the risk of estrogen therapy for menopause, how the therapy is delivered—taking a pill versus wearing a patch on one's skin—doesn't affect risk or benefit, researchers at UCLA and elsewhere ...

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

July 26, 2017
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.