Medical Information in the Balance - Innovative Uses Versus Potential Abuses of Confidentiality

Conducting issue briefings on health and health care policy for policy-makers, journalists and national organization officials

In 1998, the Alliance for Health Reform held two briefings on the topic of confidentiality of medical information.

The briefings were designed to provide US congressional staff, members of the media and other opinion leaders with:

  • A summary of innovative uses of medical information to benefit patients, communities and clinical research.
  • An analysis of actual and potential abuses of medical information.
  • An overview of current proposals to balance the need for confidentiality and privacy with the need for access.

Based in Washington, the alliance is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational organization focusing on health coverage for all Americans.

Key Results: The two briefings held under this grant were:

  • "Confidentiality of Medical Records: Striking a Balance." This event, held on April 2, 1998, attracted 221 participants from Congressional offices, news media and health-related organizations.
  • "Health Care Confidentiality: You Can Hear the Clock Ticking." This event, held on December 8, 1998, attracted 298 participants drawn from congressional staffs, the media, and such organizations as the American Association of Health Plans and the American Association of Retired People.