VA, DoD Now Can Share More Sensitive Medical Records

Marla Durben Hirsch | Fierce Health EMR | November 2, 2011

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is loosening a rule that unduly restricts it from sharing information about certain sensitive medical conditions with the Department of Defense (DoD), according to an announcement made by the VA last week.

The interim final rule, published in the Federal Register Oct. 20, now will allow the sharing of medical records regarding veterans who need treatment for drug abuse, alcoholism and alcohol abuse, as well as HIV and sickle cell anemia.

The rule removes a restriction that created inconsistencies in patients' medical records from one agency to another. The restriction rendered many records incomplete, and hindered the full development and implementation of an electronic health record system between the VA and the DoD, the VA noted in the rule...