On March 4th 2023, the House passed an Engrossed Substitute bill for Rep. Slatter’s My Health My Data HB 1155.
WA People’s Privacy has reviewed the engrossed substitute and offered suggested changes in hopes that Senator Dhingra, her fellow lawmakers on the Senate Law & Justice Committee, and the AGO will take into account the detailed arguments and justifications for these changes, revert the bill to its original stronger form, and strengthen it further. If they can do that, we can create a ground-breaking new law in WA State that truly protects care-seekers.
Here is WA People’s Privacy’s Summary of Suggested Changes and Red line of ESHB 1155 .
Not included in this summary is the initial feedback we offered in verbal comment to the House CR&J committee and the AGO back in January, which was basically:
My Health My Data should cover health benefits exchanges and government agencies. As regulated entities, they should absolutely be holding their data processors and all of the third parties with whom data may be shared and sold to the same rigorous standards as private healthcare entities. All consumers, whether poor or wealthy, need be able to decide whether and when they want to share their health data. Any health data-collecting activities government agencies conduct should be every bit as protective of consumers as private companies’ activities should be.
That should be a no-brainer in a state that supposedly values equity. If a special clause needs to be inserted into the bill to allow more time for gov. agencies to come into compliance by 2024, so be it. But government agencies should not be exempted from this bill. Everyone’s health data needs to be protected, not just the health data of wealthy people.
We’re not willing to oppose this bill on this basis alone. But we want to be very clear that this bill does not go far enough to protect WA residents, even its original, fairly strong form. This wealth inequity issue in health data protection will need to be addressed ASAP by the State of WA.