HIway Patient Consent Policy

The Mass HIway Regulations 101 CMR 20.00: Health Information Exchange became effective as of February 10, 2017. Section "20.07: Opt-in Opt-out Mechanism" of these regulations specifies the following HIway consent policy: 

(1) HIway Direct Messaging. Mass HIway users may transmit information via HIway direct messaging in compliance with
      applicable federal and state privacy laws and implementing regulations. Mass HIway users may implement local opt-in
      and/or opt-out process that applies to the use of HIway direct messaging by their organization, but are not required to do so.

(2) HIway-sponsored Services.

      (a) Opt-in. HIway participants must provide each patient and/or their legal representatives with written notice of
             how the organization uses HIway-sponsored services.
             1. Written notice shall be provided by at least one of the following methods:
                     a. inclusion in the HIway participant's privacy notice;
                     b. patient handout; or
                     c. letter, email, or other personal electronic communication to patients.
             2. Written notice must be available in languages as established by EOHHS and described in the Mass HIway Policies
                  and Procedures.
             3. The written notice must describe the manner and means that the patient can opt-out of HIway-sponsored services.

       (b) Opt-out. The Mass HIway or its designee administers a centralized opt out system. Patients and/or their authorized
             designees may notify the Mass HIway or its designee directly if they choose to opt-out. A HIway participant that has
             an established relationship with a patient must notify the Mass HIway that the patient has decided to opt-out and/or
             provide written instructions to its patients on how a patient or their authorized designees can notify the Mass HIway
             or its designee of the patient’s choice to opt-out. Such notifications shall be made in the form and format determined
             by the Mass HIway and detailed in the Mass HIway Policies and Procedures.

       (c) Local opt-in opt-out. In addition to the opt-in opt-out provisions described in 101 CMR 20.07(2)(a) and (b), HIway
             participants may choose to implement their own local opt-in and/or opt-out process that applies to the use of HIway-
             sponsored Services by their organization, but are not required to do so. If a HIway participant does implement a local
             process that applies to HIway-sponsored services, it must supplement the opt-in opt-out provisions described in
             101 CMR 20.07(2)(a) and (b), and shall not replace 101 CMR 20.07(2).

If you have questions, contact the Mass HIway at 1-855-MA-HIWAY or MassHIway@state.ma.us

Patient Fact Sheet

The Mass HIway provides a Patient Fact Sheet with key information for patients about the HIway. To download, click here.

The sheet shown below describes that:

  • The HIway does not function as a clinical data repository that holds electronic medical records for individuals
  • The Patients’ electronic health records are held by provider organizations and not the Mass HIway

Note: Distribution of this Fact Sheet to patients is not a requirement to use Mass HIway for Direct Messaging.


Patient Fact Sheet