News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinesecuritybigbrotherdatabases — Viewing Item

Medical info { August 13 2002 }

Subject: Fwd: There Goes Our Right of Consent for Personal Medical Info

>August 13, 2002
>Tomorrow, the Bush Administration will publish in the Federal Register
>amendments to the current Health Information Privacy Rule that will
>the right of privacy for health information for all Americans. The
>are the
>1. The final rule eliminates the right that each citizen has under the
>pre-amendment rule (which is also the Bush rule) to not have identifiable
>health care information used or disclosed without consent. This change
>effectively eliminates the right of medical privacy for all citizens for
>treatment, payment and health care operations, which is most uses.
>2. The loss of medical privacy inevitably leads to a loss of access to
>quality health care because patients will not seek health care or make
>medically necessary disclosures if they do not believe the information will
>remain private.
>3. The amendments go beyond simply eliminating the right of consent in that
>they substitute "federal permission" for the use and disclosure of
>identifiable health information. Thus, the federal government will provide
>consent on behalf of each citizen for all covered entities to obtain their
>identifiable health information, regardless of the individual's wishes.
>4. The Administration misleads the public in its press release by stating
>that the amendments provide the public with "more control" over their
>information when, in fact, they eliminate the only meaningful control the
>public has under the current Privacy Rule.
>5. It is important to remember that the Administration is reversing its
>position on this vital privacy issue despite the fact that it put these
>regulations into effect on April 14, 2001 after an additional comment
>announcing them as a "great victory" for consumers. The right of consent
>under federal law vested in every citizen effective April 14, 2001. That
>right will be extinguished on August 14, 2003. That will clearly be a dark
>day for quality health care and the civil rights of all citizens.
>Message: 6
> Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 12:12:45 -0400
> From: "Kate Berman"
>Subject: Giraffe's medical records are confidential but yours will soon be
>up for grabs
> Dear Friends and Colleagues,
> FYI---from latest on our destroyed medical privacy.
>Feel free to share.
> Deborah Peel, MD
> Past President, NCMHPC
> Giraffe's medical records are confidential but yours will soon be up for
> By Vicki Lankarge
> "All medical records will be treated as if they are government property,
>not individual property."
> Medical records of panda bears, pachyderms, and other popular animals at
>the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., are confidential but your medical
>records will soon be available to data-processing companies, researchers,
>pharmacists, and your insurance company - without your consent.Sound crazy?
>Consider this: The National Zoo turned down a Washington Post reporter's
>request for the medical records of Ryma, a 17-year-old male giraffe who
>died in February 2002, citing the animal's right to privacy and saying that
>the release of his records violates the zookeeper-animal relationship.Yet
>the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has
>eliminated the requirement to get your consent to release your medical
> "All medical records will be treated as if they are government property,
>not individual property," says Dr. Deborah Peel, past president of the
>National Coalition of Mental Health Professionals and Consumers. And the
>scariest part is that you'll never know who requested your records or why -
>and there will be little you or your doctor can do to stop it.When did this
> Until now, no one could access your personal health information without
>your written consent. However, on Aug. 9, 2002, the Bush administration
>announced it has revised the medical privacy rule to the federal Health
>Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). According to HHS,
>effective April 2003, "key health care players" will now have the
>"regulatory permission" to use and disclose all your personal medical and
>mental health treatment information in order to "facilitate" your medical
> Tipping the scales
> In revising the medical privacy rule, regulators used variations of the
>word "balance" 17 times to describe why patient privacy did not take first
>place in their considerations. Among other factors, HHS says patient
>privacy interests were balanced against:
> Public health and safety.
> Researchers need to access data for studies.
> "Legitimate needs" that health insurance plan sponsors have for medical
> Administrative burdens. All health care entities affected by HIPAA must
>be in full compliance with established privacy guidelines no later than
>April 2003.Source: Citizens' Council on Health Care
> The American Association of Health Plans is lauding the final privacy
>rule, saying HHS has "adopted a balanced, workable approach that protects
>the privacy of patients without undermining their health care."But patient
>advocates are outraged. "If Enron or WorldCom executives had distorted the
>truth the way HHS has about the federal medical privacy rule, they would
>probably be charged with false advertising," says Sue Blevins, president of
>the Institute for Health Freedom. According to Blevins, public comments
>made by HHS about the medical privacy rule are misleading because HHS
>claims the new rule maintains privacy protections without mentioning that
>the new rule does not prevent government or the medical industry from
>compiling and sharing an individual's personal health information -
>including genetic information - without the individual's permission.
> Blevins and other patient advocates are not exaggerating, according to
>James Pyles, a Washington, D.C., health care attorney who worked for six
>years in the Office of the General Counsel for the U.S. Department of
>Health, Education, and Welfare. "This is a serious blow," says Pyles.
>"Privacy will be meaningless. There is no accounting for [routine]
>disclosures in this rule, so there will be no paper or electronic trail to
>follow if your information gets into the wrong hands."If this seems
>far-fetched, consider this: Select individual and small group health
>insurers already have access to medical information on more than 16 million
>people contained in files warehoused by the Medical Information Bureau
>(MIB). The MIB provides more than 600 insurers with medical information
>from databases that serve as a repository of information that insurers use
>to compare notes on applicants - and uncover those who've "lied" on their
>insurance applications - without having to contact one another directly.
> Consent catch-22
> Although HHS insists that your doctor will still have the "option" to
>allow you to give or withhold consent to release your medical records, the
>option will be at the discretion of your doctor, not you. And your doctor
>will be put in a very difficult position. Will it be in his or her best
>interest to serve you, the patient, or the insurance company that is
>cutting the checks?
> "This is a serious blow. Privacy will be meaningless."
> Let's say your doctor refuses a regulatory request from your insurer for
>your records. There is nothing stopping the insurer from claiming that it
>cannot properly conduct its health care operations without your records and
>dropping your doctor from its network of providers for failing to comply
>with federal regulations.Since your doctor won't be able to protect you
>from disclosure against your will, patient advocates say you will have to
>start making terrible choices when you're ill. "Who will get genetic
>testing if the results are used to deny applications for life or health
>insurance policies?" Peel asks. "These scenarios sound impossible, but they

3 million americans dna in federal dabase { June 3 2006 }
Aclu warns big brother
Bookstore record seizures { June 22 2003 }
British company offers homeland security database { December 12 2004 }
Everychild in england on safety list database
Expand dna databases
FBI broke law when collection domestic data { June 14 2007 }
Fbi reach in citizens financial records { November 12 2003 }
Fbi terror watch list has half million names { June 13 2007 }
Fbi wants fingerprints iris scans in database { January 15 2008 }
Federal plans database for all college and university students { November 29 2004 }
Feds sift americans banking records for terror { June 23 2006 }
Florida new counterterrorism database { August 6 2003 }
Immigration database lawsuit
Lexisnexis database personal information hacked
Medical info { August 13 2002 }
Minn state run police database shut down { December 18 2003 }
National crime information center database
New computer communcation homeland security network { February 24 2004 }
Nsa mines millions ordinary americans phone records
Parents shoot down statewide immunization database { March 31 2005 }
Pentagon creating student database { June 23 2005 }
Pentagons data collection jetblue
Pre crime
Rfids on sanfransisco library books
Single terror watch list
South carolina storing baby dna { June 25 2002 }
System use 50 times data loc { May 19 2003 }
Terror databases
Terror list denies citizens economic services { March 27 2007 }
Terror list has 5 million { January 20 2004 }
Us fingerprint british and other allies { April 2 2004 }

Files Listed: 32


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple