June, 2017

Property Rights and Electronic Health Records

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This is an analysis of the current assignment of property rights of electronic health records and patient medical data. The paper focuses on the adverse incentives created by the current structure of property rights and hypothesizes that giving patients and provers co-ownership of medical data will best address concerns about interoperability and privacy, and also result in a number of additional positive benefits. Next the paper describes ways to make stronger patient ownership a reality despite the presence of special interest groups incentivized to block access. The paper concludes with state policy level analysis examining New Hampshire – the only state to currently grant patient ownership over medical data and electronic health record. this paper finds that state governments can follow New Hampshire’s lead and extend co-property rights to patients and providers to improve interoperability and privacy outcomes.