And Now A Word About Medical Data Privacy-Something To Think About Today as The Data Selling Business Explodes and Accountabilit
Posted Mar 19 2012 6:44pm
Yes this is the age old topic once again but it’s not going away. Today with data mining and selling on the rise, it would be nice to have a federal disclosure page where all who distribute and sell data would list what and who they sell to. You can’t make any sense today out of the very crafty written by attorneys privacy pages on websites and it’s mean to be that way. Here’s a good example where privacy got out of hand and where Wall Street investors were looking at actual patient medical records from 3 hospitals…it was the 3rd party consultant who is now being sued, which is a good thing for all those folks who’s records were exposed. If it was not for the stolen laptop, we would have never known.
We actually had consent until 2002 until the government took it away and with the way data runs and is mined through out healthcare today, which is on steroids compared to the year 2002, we need it as math and algorithms confuse all of us depending on how naïve and gullible we are.
Depending on how honest this 3rd party was with their algorithms, people may have not received the care they needed in the name of saving money. It is time to license and tax the folks selling data and get some transparency out there along with asking patients for their permission. There’s tons of tax money potential there with using the Walgreens SEC 2010 statement to where they made just short of $800 million selling data, intangibles so you wonder are prescriptions just a side line business in order to capture data for sale? Sure there are folks that say there is no privacy and in part it’s true but we can fix the US budget with the tax revenue that makes corporations rich with selling data they get for free and in the meantime consumers suffer with no privacy at all. There needs to be a balance and soon.
If we had disclosures that told the real story on what is sold and where it goes then could make better decisions as consumers and patients too instead of being in the dark. Next week I’m sure we will have yet one more item in the press that says how stupid consumers are again as that topic floats in and out.
You can read more on the topic of “The Attack of the Killer Algorithms” at the link below but it makes corporations rich and keeps consumers poor in essence, and we do need a say in all of this. BD
The U.S. government is spending billions of dollars to help move everyone's health care records onto electronic databases. There are many good things about this: electronic health care records can be accessed from anywhere, they take up less physical space and they are very portable.
However, with these benefits come severe privacy concerns as well. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (or HIPAA, for short) claims to protect your medical data from probing eyes. The problem is, its language is weak. Your records are already an open book to millions of providers, employers, government agencies, insurance companies, billing firms, transcription services, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmaceutical companies, data miners, creditors and more. This is considered “routine” use , and is not covered by HIPAA.
In fact, in 2002 HHS actually amended the HIPAA “Privacy Rule” to eliminate the patient's “ right of consent” altogether . So, you do not own your data, someone else does. It's time we changed this.