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Personal Health Records: Directing More Costs and Risks to Consumers?


Nicolas Terry


Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law


Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-20
Drexel Law Review, Vol. 1, p. 216, 2008

Abstract:     
This article is principally concerned with a subset of electronic health records known as personal health records. In contrast to the more familiar charts, paper records, and electronic medical records maintained by health care providers, personal health records are medical records created and maintained by patients. A personal health records model is superficially attractive because it seems to lack the "misaligned incentives," network effects, and other market failure problems associated with the financing of a national inter-operative EHR model, while the model's patient-centricity purportedly avoids the privacy-confidentiality-security externalities inherent in electronic health records. The principal thrust of this article is that personal health records are dangerously flawed adjuncts to or substitutes for provider-centric records, and while lacking many of the touted quality or cost-reduction benefits of oft-criticized electronic health records they pose substantially higher levels of risk regarding security, privacy, and confidentiality. The conclusion is that, as with their technically more complex electronic health records sibling, personal health records require a fundamental re-working of the legal model applicable to all electronic health records.

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Date posted: August 23, 2008 ; Last revised: February 20, 2012

Suggested Citation

Terry, Nicolas, Personal Health Records: Directing More Costs and Risks to Consumers?. Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-20; Drexel Law Review, Vol. 1, p. 216, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1248768 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1248768

Contact Information

Nicolas P. Terry (Contact Author)
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )
530 W. New York St
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

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