Do KS Abortion Rules Betray Patient Confidentiality? Hardly.

While Kansas’ tough new abortion clinic rules await a full trial in federal court, abortion supporters continue to make wild accusations about them. The latest canard is that the health regulations violate patient privacy by requiring clinics to show medical records to state health inspectors:

One regulation says “all records shall be available at the facility for inspection” by the secretary of health and environment or his staff. Abortion-rights advocates said giving such access allows health department officials to review highly personal information, and they don’t trust Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration because he is a strong opponent of abortion.

It’s totally unjustified and an invasion of patient privacy,” said Bonnie Scott Jones, an attorney for the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing two doctors in the federal lawsuit.

Totally injustifiable? Former KS Attorney General Phill Kline recently testified that he found 164 cases of statutory rape unreported by KS abortion clinics in just one year. By any reasonable standard, those are 164 good justifications for the new regulations.

Here’s what a KDHE official had to say:

The new licensing law declares information in medical records must be kept confidential, and another statute makes it a misdemeanor for health department employees to disclose such data publicly. Department spokeswoman Miranda Myrick noted that federal law also applies.

She added, “When surveyors are inspecting facilities, the medical records do not leave the facilities.

Abortion opponents say access to medical records is necessary if the department is to provide proper oversight.

South Carolina‘s rules for abortion providers say health department inspectors “shall have access to all properties and areas, objects, records and reports.” In Texas, a health department surveyor is “entitled to access all books, records or other documents.” Arizona‘s rules give abortion providers two hours to produce a record if it’s at the clinic.

“That struck me as a pretty standard provision, that regulatory agencies would have access to records,” said Kansas House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican who opposes abortion.

Pretty standard indeed.

  • Stitzelfritz

    For hospital regulations, when JHACO comes to inspect a facility, they also have access to records. This is to make sure that certain requirements for education and treatment are being met for some of the more common diagnoses like hip fracture, MI or stroke.  Regulatory agencies having access to medical records is nothing new to health care.

    • scragsma

      I second that. With a baccalaureate-level credential in Health Information Administration, and having worked for 11 years in hospital patient information administration (medical records), I can attest that it’s fully within the authority of regulatory (and many other) agencies to have full access to medical records for the purposes of ensuring proper patient care and accurate reporting. Nothing unusual about it in the least.

  • Jurinne

    Until I got hurt I was a Registered Environmental Health Specialist II – I worked as a deputy health officer for a county-level health department in California.  As such I was deputized and swore to uphold the laws of the state (yes, health inspectors are college-educated, trained professionals).  People like me are the ones who will be reading those reports.  Confidentiality is an important part of our job of protecting the health of the public.  No names are released to the public.  When complaints are made the complainants are not identified.  There is no problem with privacy.  If a law has been broken appropriate measures are taken.  This is what scares PP.  They have allegedly broken laws regarding sexual abuse and they should be held accountable for their ations.  PP will do anything to help them go on with their job of slaughtering the unborn.  PP does not care about women (or men).  Approximately half of the children they murder are female – future women.  This whole ploy is an attempt to keep laws and regulations tied up in court for years, while PP goes on with its business of killing the unborn.  PP wants its blood money coming in no matter what.  Women’s health? Not an issue.  Abortions are what PP does.  It should be defunded.  Completely. And it should be held responsible for aiding those who have sexually abused girls and women.

  • oldmanbob

    When you are or know you should be ashamed of what you are doing the one thing that you DO NOT want is records of what you are doing.  If there are records please no one look at them.  When you are covering up crimes (such as rape) even more so.
     Remember there is money in killing babies.