The Better Care Coalition

A group of Minnesota health care professionals, health care consumers and business organizations committed to providing better care coordination, a better patient experience and more efficient care delivery by modernizing Minnesota’s Health Records Act.

Our Goal

Our goal is to fix the obsolete and burdensome process mandated by Minnesota law for access and use of a patient’s health record. Currently, Minnesota requires patient consent to be documented before a physician is authorized to examine their patient’s health records. Patients overwhelming support (>95%) their physician having access to their health record and Minnesota is one of only two states to mandate this extra step. It results in delays, duplication of services, patient frustration and increased cost. We can improve care and lower healthcare costs by aligning Minnesota’s laws on clinical use and access of health records with federal laws. 48 other states already align with federal law by presuming that when you are seeking treatment you are also consenting to regulated access and limited use of your health records. Updating the law to make Minnesota the 49th state to adopt this proven concept would allow Minnesota’s providers to immediately advance cost-effective, high-quality care.

This legislation would not weaken the privacy or security of protected health information
Federal regulations, including HIPAA, the HITECH Act and the Omnibus Privacy Rule govern when, where and to whom health information can be shared. Those federal laws carry serious civil and criminal penalties when their requirements are not met. State regulations, including penalties for unauthorized release or access under MN Stat. 144.298, would not be impacted by this change. Read the FAQ and the Advocacy LetterClick here to read about how “treatment” payment” and “operations” are narrowly defined and regulated under federal law. 

Click the “Act Now!” tab to contact your state legislators and urge their support!


Why We Support It

Patient-centered: The overwhelming majority of patients want and expect their health information to be shared with their care team. Aligning with federal law will help avoid duplicative procedures while facilitating informed decision-making about care and treatment options. Our current system assumes “no” when patients and families expect “yes.”

Reduces costs: Avalere Health conducted a study to estimate cost savings associated with modifying Minnesota’s patient consent law and concluded more than $606 million could be saved over ten years. That does not include savings consumers would also experience by not having to pay for any associated out-of-pocket costs. Click here to read the full analysis: 2018 MN Patient Consent Law Analysis

Promotes innovation: The ability to leverage clinical information is critical for quality improvement and clinical practice improvement activities. Consumers are also seeking a more retail-like experience, even within health care. Achieving true interoperability of electronic medical records is contingent on the ability to exchange clinical information.


The letter of support signed by 59 organizations

Examples from Patients and Providers