SacValley MedShare "Connect the Docs"
Participation in SacValley MedShare (SVMS) is voluntary. Your health information will automatically be included in SVMS unless you opt-out. Please read this notice carefully and decide if you wish to participate. It is your information and your choice. This service is entirely free to patients.
What is SVMS- SacValley MedShare:
SVMS is a Northern California internet-based, health information exchange (HIE). SVMS is sponsored by Northern California health care providers and health insurers who share and use your information for treatment and payment purposes. They can see specific health, demographic, and payment information (your health information) in each other’s records. They can use this information for treatment and payment purposes. For example:
• Using SVMS, your participating doctors can quickly find certain health information about you, such as your lab and x-ray results, from other participating providers who have treated you in the past.
• Using SVMS, your participating doctors, hospitals, or pharmacies can quickly verify your insurance coverage by checking your enrollment status with participating health insurers.
• Using SVMS, your participating providers can make required reports to public health agencies regarding immunizations, communicable diseases, etc.
• Using SVMS, your participating health insurer can electronically obtain the health information needed to process your claim from participating provider’s records.
• Using SVMS, researchers can use de-identified information and/or limited data sets to conduct research to improve health care for all Californians. A "limited data set” is health information that has had direct patient identifiers removed.
How does sharing health information improve patient care:
Health care providers need your complete health information to diagnose and treat you accurately. Each of your providers may have different portions of your medical record. If they can access each other’s records and see complete health information, they can provide you with better care. Sharing your health information can help reduce medical care costs by eliminating unnecessary duplication of tests and procedures.
How is my health information currently shared:
Currently, your health information may be shared between health care providers and insurers by telephone, fax, mail, or through limited computer networks. This process is a burden on you or your provider while still not providing a complete record. SVMS makes the process of sharing health information more efficient. SVMS allows one participant (for example, a doctor) to locate records from another participant (for example, a hospital) in a matter of minutes. This can be critical in an emergency and may result in your providers having a more complete and accurate health record.
Who will have access to my health information:
Many California providers and health insurers participate in SVMS. You can obtain a current list at Sacvalleyms.org. Participating providers (such as doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies) and health insurers (for their own insureds or for insureds in group health plans they administer), public health agencies, and their staff and contractors will have access for treatment, payment, and public health purposes. SVMS staff and contractors will have access to provide technical and administrative support. All-access will be on a need-to-know basis for treatment, payment, and public health purposes. Medical researchers may have access to certain de-identified health information and/or limited data sets.
What health information will be shared:
- Lab and x-ray results
- Medication and immunization history
- Transcribed diagnostic and treatment records
- Records of allergies and drug reactions
- Other transcribed clinical reports
Information created after the start date of SVMS in 2015 will be available through SVMS, but only if the provider who has the information is a participating provider and makes the information available. Older health records will not be available through SVMS.
Participating providers will not share records related to: (a) alcohol or substance abuse treatment programs (or information likely to be used by such programs), (b) emergency protective custody proceedings, (c) predictive genetic testing performed for genetic counseling purposes, (d) HIV testing, (e) STD testing or treatment of minors consented to by the minor, and (f) mental health treatment. However, information about test results may be available or referred to elsewhere in the record.
How is my privacy protected:
SVMS and the participating providers and health insurers use a combination of safeguards to protect your health information. Technical safeguards include encryption, password protection, and the ability to track individual viewer’s usage of the system. Administrative safeguards include written policies controlling access to information through SVMS. All participating providers and health insurers must agree to follow these policies. All participating providers and health insurers are also regulated by federal and state privacy laws. They must have their own policies and other safeguards in place, including policies to train their staff and limit access to a need-to-know basis.
Are there privacy risks:
Yes, there is always a risk that the safeguards will not work and that someone will obtain, view. or use your health information for impermissible purposes. No system of safeguards is perfect – neither SVMS’s nor those currently employed by your providers or health insurers. The electronic search capability of SVMS and a large number of participating providers and health insurers and their staff will increase the risk of a privacy or security breach. The participating providers and health insurers believe the potential benefits outweigh the risk, but participation is a personal decision.
Can I choose not to participate in SVMS:
Yes, we call this a decision to "opt-out.” If you opt-out, your health information will not be available for sharing through SVMS, with these exceptions:
- Your name, address, and date of birth will appear in SVMS.
- Your opt-out status will also be available.
- Your doctors may be able to see your health information in their own electronic medical record.
Your decision to opt-out of SVMS will not affect your ability to receive health care. Participating in SVMS is not a condition to receiving care. However, it may affect what information your provider has available when providing your care if you opt-out. Your decision to opt-out of SVMS applies only to sharing your information through SVMS.
How can I opt-out:
You may opt-out and not participate in SVMS by completing the Health Information Exchange Opt-Out Form available at the Orchard Hospital and Medical Specialty Clinic Registration Desks. Follow the instructions on the Opt-Out form. Whatever method you choose, your opt-out decision cannot be implemented until after you have had your first visit as a patient. Until then, SVMS has no health record for you and no way to match you with your opt-out decision.
Can I hold back certain records I don’t want my health insurer or other providers to see:
No, SVMS is not set up to exclude specific visits, tests, or episodes of care or to prevent access by specific providers or health insurers. Opting out generally means that no one will be able to access your health information through SVMS, except as described in this brochure. If you don’t want some or all of your health information made available to participating providers, health insurers or public health agencies through SVMS, you should consider opting out of SVMS and not participating at all.
If I opt-out, can I change my mind later:
Yes, you may revoke your opt-out request by completing the Health Information Exchange Opt-Out Revocation Request Form available at the Orchard Hospital and Medical Specialty Clinic Registration Desks. Follow the instructions on the form and be aware that when you revoke your earlier decision to opt out, all of the information that has been gathered by participating providers, health insurers, and public health agencies since you opted out will be available for sharing through SVMS.
More information available about "Connect the Docs.”
SacValley MedShare (SVMS)
Chico, CA 95926