Patient confidentiality is an essential aspect of the patient-provider relationship. Without confidentiality, patients are understandably reluctant to communicate openly with their health care providers and may delay or forgo accessing needed care, especially if they fear being stigmatized or harmed as a result.
Health insurers routinely send out an Explanation of Benefits (EOB), detailing the type and cost of medical services received, to the primary subscriber each time an enrollee on the plan accesses care. Sensitive health information may be disclosed in an EOB, violating the basic right to privacy for anyone enrolled as a dependent on another's policy, such as a young adult, minor or spouse.
An Act to Protect Access to Confidential Healthcare would establish mechanisms to ensure that when multiple people are on the same insurance plan, confidential health care information is not shared with anyone other than the patient.
The bill is supported by the PATCH Alliance—over 40 organizations from health care providers to domestic violence advocates—and all Massachusetts health insurance plans.
Download the fact sheet
Read letter of support
Lead House sponsor Rep. Kate Hogan and her colleagues wrote a letter of support for the bill.