A lawsuit challenging the adequacy of privacy and confidentiality protections in regulations the Department of Health has adopted to implement a centralized database of patient health care records in the state known as the Health Information Exchange (HIE), which allows medical personnel to routinely access a patient’s entire medical file, including mental health records and other sensitive medical information. 

In a step foward for patients' privacy rights, the R.I. ACLU settled this suit in April 2014. As part of the settlement agreement, the Department of Health agreed it would halt its practice of “adopting unofficially promulgated policies to implement” its obligations under the HIE law.  Patients remain free not to have their medical information submitted to the HIE.



Frederic Marzilli

Date filed

January 29, 2010