Call you Doctor and have him send in his comments.

 

Day 43   12/27/13

Topic: Trade Secret Disclosure to Health Professionals

Comment:

The proposed language concerning disclosure of trade secret-protected information to health professionals is neither consistent with the statute nor protective of the public.

Right to Know.  Section 1-77(l) of the Act is clear that information shall be provided, as needed, to health professionals who demonstrate a need for it.  Yet, section 245.730 of the Rules diminishes the language of the Act, stating only that the Department “may” provide information to health professionals who demonstrate a need for it.

Limitation to “normal business hours.” Subsection 245.730(b)(1) of the Rules states, in the event of an emergency, that a health professional may call the Department during “normal business hours.” For an emergency that occurs after hours, the Rules suggest calling the trade secret holder. This is inadequate. The Department should provide a 24-hour hotline for emergency calls pursuant to this section.

“Trade Secret Holder.” Subsection 245.730(b)(2) of the Rules allows a health professional to seek the necessary information from a “trade secret holder,” but there is no means provided for the health professional to know who the trade secret holder is, or what phone number to use to reach it. Furthermore, this provision is found nowhere in the statute, seemingly adding another unnecessary burden on the health professional.

Lack of a time limit for the Department’s response. The Department should abide by the same 3-hour time limit for a response that applies to trade secret holders pursuant to 245.730(b)(2).

Disclosure of names receiving trade secret information.  Subsection 245.730(e) of the rules requires that health providers report to the trade secret holder the names of persons to whom the protected information was disclosed.  This requirement is found nowhere in the statute. It is inappropriate to burden health professionals with such an obligation in the absence of statutory authorization to do so.

Revisions Needed:  Rewrite the section to comply with the strongest interpretation of 1-77 of the Statute including 24-hour accessibility.  Do not require that health providers report names of persons to whom protected information was disclosed as this was not required in the statute.

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Go there and comment. More tomorrow.

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