The report describes in great detail the options regarding patient consent for exchanging data among healthcare organizations. The options include:
- No consent: Automatically allowing the exchange of records without patient consent and without an opt-out clause;
- Opt-out: Offering patients only an all-inclusive opt-out option;
- Opt-out, with exceptions: Offering varying levels of opt-outs, such as allowing only selected data to be exchanged;
- Opt-in: Requiring that patients explicitly grant permission for the exchange of all of their information; and
- Opt-in, with restrictions: Enabling patients to grant permission for the exchange of specific subsets of their records.
"Until the time when we are confident that we can protect health information in a systematic and thorough way, prudent use of the mechanism of consent appears to be one of the most reliable ways to pursue that goal."
Here are links to the ONC documents: