SENATE APPROVES TO PROTECT ACCESS TO CONFIDENTIAL HEALTH CARE

By Bob Katzen

The Senate approved and sent to the House a bill that would require health insurance companies to issue “Explanation of Benefits” (EOB) summaries only directly to the patient even if the patient is not the primary subscriber. Currently, most insurers send the forms to the primary subscriber.

“Patient confidentiality is a foundational element of the patient-provider relationship,” said Sen. Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), the lead sponsor of the bill. “Unfortunately, young adults, minors or victims of abuse are often reluctant to seek certain types of treatment, fearing that their personal health information will be disclosed to a parent or spouse. This bill is a crucial step to ensure all Massachusetts residents can safely access the health care services they need.”

“We all deserve the right to seek medical attention without risking personal harm or stigma, and I’m proud that the Senate passed the [bill] today, which will guarantee privacy for all patients including those seeking services for sexual and reproductive health, domestic violence or sexual assault and mental health and substance use,” said Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton).

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