A Senate panel advanced a bill that would allow commercial laboratories and medical record companies to record a patient’s sexual orientation, gender identity, race and ethnicity.
“Including this demographic information in the data profiles of patients ensures that public health records are as thorough as possible so vulnerabilities are better understood and treatment is as effective as possible,” said State Sen. Joe Cryan (D-Cranford), the bill’s sponsor.
The bill does not require patients disclose their information to medical companies, but it does require those firms to report those demographic details to local and state governments.
“This data provides the foundation for understanding any population’s particular status and needs. This is especially important for all the unknowns surrounding COVID-19,” Cryan said. “This will help provide tracking data that can be vital for preventing infections and illness.”