Mutuals rely on digital patient records |

The Federal Data Protection Commissioner and the health insurance funds have been arguing for months over additional data protection functions in the electronic patient record. Now an instruction is floating around the cash register house.

Bonn (dpa) – Federal data protection commissioner Ulrich Kelber has asked four large statutory health funds to expand the new electronic patient record (ePA) with additional data protection functions.

Without these extensions, the digital patient record would violate the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Kelber said. Further instructions to other cash registers should follow. Kelber is responsible for a total of 63 statutory health funds with around 45 million insured.

Self-determined data transfer

The instructions focus on two topics. On the one hand, Kelber demands that the insured can determine who sees what. “The insured must have the right to choose which document he wishes to give to which third party (doctor, therapist, etc.) namely”, specifies the letter to the sickness funds that the German press agency has received. An “all or nothing principle” is not state of the art and violates the GDPR.

On the other hand, Kelber is embarrassed by the fact that the ePA can only be viewed and managed by the insured with a suitable smartphone. “From 2022, 90% of insureds with mobile devices will be able to view and control access to content. The remaining ten percent should not be allowed to do so. “You can of course implement this organically for those ten percent as well. Although there is the possibility of giving a power of attorney to third parties for inspection and processing and thus “mitigate the limited sovereignty of the data, this cannot completely restore the limited sovereignty”.

Expected disputes

According to Kelber, the proxy solution does not address concerns about the processing of health data on private devices. It is conceivable that the health insurance funds of their agencies, for example, have a computer tablet in a secure network on which the insured can connect and manage his personal patient file.

The dispute over release in the EPI is likely to result in legal dispute. Experts assume that virtually all health insurance companies will sue the federal commissioner’s instructions. Barmer CEO Christoph Straub spoke out in favor of legal action against an instruction. An action can be brought against Kelber’s instruction before the Cologne Social Court.

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