Figueroa To Introduce Bill That Would Block California Hospitals From Sending Medical Data Overseas
Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont) has announced that in January she will introduce a bill that would prohibit state hospitals from transmitting patient data to medical transcription firms based outside of the United States, San Francisco Chronicle columnist David Lazarus reports. Under the bill, hospitals likely would not be permitted to outsource transcription work unless they could verify that all related files stay in the country, which would make hospitals responsible for any subcontracting issues. Figueroa's announcement follows a threat by a woman in Pakistan doing subcontracted transcription work for the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center to post patients' medical records on the Internet unless she was paid more money. Figueroa anticipates opposition for the bill from the health care industry but said that she expects the bill to pass eventually because of the public's increased concern about privacy issues (Lazarus, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.