“It’s big brother,” said Christopher Johnston, a professional-licensed counselor and plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Johnston is suing the Oklahoma Health Care Authority over the Health Information Exchange that went into effect in July. The law requires healthcare providers to enter patient records into an online database.
“If you have a mental health diagnosis, it’s put into a database regardless if you are on Medicaid or if you’re out of pocket,” said Johnston. “We have to put you in a database where dentists can find out what your disorder is.”
However, the OCHA said this new tool is useful.
“This is something, we believe, will add to coordination of care, better treatments, better information flow,” Kevin Corbett, OHCA’s CEO, previously told News 4. “No patient data of any kind should be submitted to the HIE if a patient does not approve.”
The OHCA said, “only the health care professionals involved in a patient’s care are authorized to view that patient’s records.”
“We already have a mechanism in place which is a consent to release,” said Johnston. “Do you want your personal records, your personal, intimate details out there in a database towards some government official who you may work for can look at it?”
In the lawsuit, Johnston argues the exchange violates HIPAA, the Oklahoma Constitution, and the right to privacy.
“I’m not participating in it. And every single clinician that I’ve spoken with that’s been in the field from 20 years, ten years, they’re not doing this either,” said Johnston. “I could lose my license if I participate with this law.”
Johnston said he hopes this lawsuit will make it in front of a federal judge.
“Have them look at it, find out if it’s constitutional and then strike it down,” said Johnston.
News 4 reached out to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, but we did not hear back.