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VotER

HIPAA Advice on Rules for Contacting Patients who Registered to Vote

Ensure marginalized patients with local elections turn out to vote

Posted September 12, 2021

Work & Deliverables

HIPAA RE contacting patients: Vot-ER does healthcare-based voter registration. Last year, Vot-ER (vot-er.org) helped 46,000 people including patients get ready to vote in the 2020 election, of which we have ~20,000 of their contact information.
This year, there are crucial local elections in November. We want to reach out to patients impacted by these local elections, as local elections have a huge impact on people's health. Ideally, we want to invite healthcare providers to a text/phone bank where they reach out to the people who registered to vote through our platform.
Based on HIPAA, we want a sense of- Can a healthcare provider from the same geography reach out to a potential patient about voting? - What happens if a person sees someone they recognize on their list of contacts?- What guidelines should we provide to healthcare providers about HIPAA and related regulations before doing this outreach?

This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

Additional Information

  • Time Commitment: 1-5 hours
  • Training Provided: No
  • Site-Preference: Remote
  • Open to Law Students: No
  • Bar License(s) required: Any Bar License
  • Required Languages: None
  • Deliverables Due: September 25, 2021
  • Mentoring Provided: No
  • Supervision Provided: No
VotER

In total, 51 million potential voting-age adults are not registered to vote in the United States. This group is disproportionately made up of the young, the poor, and people of color. These are also the same groups that disproportionately overutilize the ER for non-emergency care because they lack access to traditional forms of healthcare. VotER is a civic engagement startup launched through a collaboration between Massachusetts General Hospital, TurboVote, and ideas42. We offer patients a chance to register to vote using a combination of site-based, digital, and healthcare provider based voter registration methods. Our early pilots have resulted in significant demand from over 50 hospitals across the country in two months - and we are confident this model and ongoing COVID19 adjustments will lead to large increases in voter registration rates.

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