Vital Signs: Maine clinic blocked from patient data

As the staff at a small Presque Isle health clinic prepared to see patients one day in July, they stopped short at their keyboards.

They soon realized they’d been locked out of the electronic health records for all of their 3,500 patients. The vendor that maintained the records had taken the uncommon step of denying access because of a longstanding billing dispute with the practice, Full Circle Health Care.

In the wake of the rapid proliferation of electronic health records, similar disputes are likely to crop up, in Maine and across the country, one expert said. At least one other health provider in the state has been shut out of its patients’ electronic records.

Billing dispute leaves Presque Isle clinic without access to electronic data on 3,500 patients

Other top health stories this week:

EMHS finalizes job eliminations in technology department

About half of the Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems employees whose technology positions are due for elimination have found new jobs at the organization, while 11 still face an uncertain future, EMHS announced Wednesday.

Lawmakers add a new level of investigation into problems at Riverview Psychiatric Center

The Legislature’s nonpartisan watchdog organization will join a list of entities investigating problems at the beleaguered hospital but will limit the scope of its probe for now, according to a directive from lawmakers on Wednesday.

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Compiled by BDN Health Editor Jackie Farwell

 

Jackie Farwell

About Jackie Farwell

I'm the health editor for the Bangor Daily News, a Bangor native, a UMaine grad, and a weekend crossword warrior. I never get sick of writing about Maine people, geeking out over health care data, and finding new ways to help you stay well. I live in Gorham with my husband Nick and our hound dog Riley.