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Particle Health: Data Dispute with Epic Systems Doesn’t Affect Majority of Customers

ByHuey Yee Ong

Apr 16, 2024
Particle Health: Data Dispute with Epic Systems Doesn't Affect Majority of Customers

Particle Health: Data Dispute with Epic Systems Doesn’t Affect Majority of Customers

Particle Health, a key player in health data interoperability, confirmed on Monday, April 15th that the ongoing data-sharing dispute with Epic Systems, a major medical software provider, has not significantly impacted the services provided to the majority of its customers.

This announcement comes amid concerns that a disagreement over data access practices could disrupt the flow of vital patient information across healthcare organizations.

Background of the Dispute

Both Particle Health and Epic Systems are part of Carequality, an extensive network that enables the seamless exchange of patient data to enhance healthcare delivery. Despite the dispute, Particle Health asserts that most of its customers continue to receive patient records from Epic Systems, which handles data for over 300 million patients worldwide.

The conflict arose when Epic filed a formal complaint with Carequality on March 21, alleging that Particle Health and its affiliated organizations might be misrepresenting their motives for accessing patient records. According to Carequality’s regulations, member organizations must clearly state their purpose for data retrieval, which typically revolves around patient treatment, in compliance with the guidelines set by the network.

How Are Patient Data Exchanges Regulated?

Furthermore, the exchange of patient data is governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which mandates patient consent or awareness for such data transfers. This federal law plays a crucial role in safeguarding patient privacy and maintaining trust in the healthcare system’s handling of sensitive information.

Despite Epic’s general cessation of response to data requests from some of Particle Health’s clients due to the dispute, the company reassured that the majority of its clients were unaffected. Particle Health has been actively working with Epic to reinstate connectivity for the affected customers, many of whom have reportedly resumed normal operations.

Epic’s Response to Data Misuse

Epic, in a statement to CNBC, revealed that it had identified instances where some Particle customers accessed patient records under false pretenses, claiming them as their patients. Following a thorough review prompted by these findings, Epic’s clients requested the suspension of data access for a small number of organizations exploiting Particle’s Carequality integration.

This action, according to Epic, was necessary to uphold the integrity and objectives of Carequality, which primarily aims to foster interoperability to improve patient care. Epic emphasized that the misuse of data access contradicts both the guidelines and the foundational spirit of the Carequality network.

In response to these allegations, Particle Health’s CEO, Jason Prestinario, announced that the company plans to resolve the matter through formal channels established by Carequality. He expressed commitment to addressing the concerns raised by Epic to ensure that the access to and use of patient records remains transparent and in alignment with regulatory requirements.

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Featured Image courtesy of SDI Productions/Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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