The following email has gone out to everyone on my patient list:
To my Patients,
This is an invitation to communicate with me by email, USING A SECURE PORTAL. Sending specific medical information by regular email is not actually legal under current law (primarily under the HIPAA legislation), UNLESS YOU AGREE, IN WRITING TO ALLOW YOUR PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION to be unprotected.
For me, however, this is more than just a legal obligation. Keeping your health information secure is important, and by signing up with TelehealthConnect.com (a service which I pay for but which is without cost to you), you can be protected. TelehealthConnect.com also offers other services which may be helpful.
You will need to establish an account with Microsoft HealthVault, which is a simple process and which offers other services that you might be interested in. The instructions are included in this email.
As many of you realize, for the past year I’ve used a “cloud-based” electronic health record which is hosted on a secure server. One of the features of the system is to provide you free access to parts of your medical record such as medication lists, future appointments. Other features will be added in the future that will make this more useful. In addition, your participation will allow me to show compliance with current federal regulations. The registration process is quick and simple, and I hope that you will participate in this also.
I also use my Health Alerts email list to keep you informed of emerging health issues, such as influenza, radiation leakages from nuclear accidents, other environmental risks, etc. If you haven’t yet, I hope that you will be willing to sign up for this service, which can be done on the forms page of my website (www.drshevin.com).
I know that I’m asking you to sign up in 3 different places. Someday this will all be integrated in a simpler format, but for now, this is the best that I can do.
I also want to invite those of you who have been significantly affected by the current economic crisis, and especially those of you who have lost your jobs and/or your medical insurance. In the old days, before the passage of the Medicare and Medicaid laws, in a time when communities were smaller and people knew one another, doctors worked out their own arrangements with their patients. I know that some of you, like millions of others across the country, are not receiving needed care and treatment because of financial problems. I would like to find a way, for each of you, to receive needed services in a way that you can afford. While I know that many of you do not want to have unpaid bills hanging over your heads, if the choice is between that and deteriorating health, I hope that you will choose your health. Please know that I am committed to working out an arrangement that can work for both of us. This offer extends to close family members whom I may never have seen. In my entire 37 years of practice, I have never turned away an established patient who is in need.
In summary, to improve the security and usefulness of our communications, please:
1) Sign up for TelehealthConnect;
2) Sign up for my Health Alerts if you haven’t already done so;
3) Sign up for access to your personal health record through PracticeFusion.
Thanks very much for your cooperation.