Doctor And Patient Privacy–Was Asked By A Pharmacy to Send 6 Months of Medical Records So Patient Could Refill Prescriptio
Posted Mar 10 2012 10:43pm
My first question is why? I have never heard of this for glucose testing strips to fill a prescription and we don’t the name of the pharmacy, but first thing that pops into my mind, who are they selling it to? There’s many wellness companies that work with pharmacies could be one, could be data sold for research, could be going to an insurance company. Glucose strips are very common today and I could maybe understand if it were an actual “drug” maybe…but again this is the data selling business here and perhaps it could have been sold back to the companies who make the strips so they could analyze their sales and supply.
No wonder this doctor questioned HIPAA and what was going on here. Where is the privacy here and of course I don’t know if these were paper records or electronic. I am guessing there’s a good chance it was electronic as now you have data for sale. I’ll sound like a broken record again but the Walgreens 2010 SEC statement said they made short of $800 million selling data. Make one wonder if filling prescriptions is just a side line business to capture data. Come to think of it in some areas United Healthcare pays pay for performance to pharmacists to gather information and enroll consumers in certain programs such as the YMCA, so in the future as this expands you might see a very sales oriented pharmacist if the money is big enough for him/her.
“The prevention arm will use UnitedHealth claims data and other demographic information to flag people at risk of developing diabetes and invite them to a free, 16-session exercise and nutrition class at a local YMCA. They’ll have monthly follow-up after the class is over, and instructors will be paid bonuses if participants meet certain modest weight-loss goals.”
My mother recently had her own experience as a senior with some of the marketing and sales efforts between her Part D carrier (which is not United) and Walgreens. Doctor said checking her glucose twice a day was fine but the other, the drug store said no, you need to do that 3 times a day. She’s been checking her glucose for 20 years now and was told by the drug store it’s not often enough. It has to do with selling strips here, as 3 times a day will yield a bigger sale and thus so she is informed by the retail pharmacist that she’s doing it wrong, nice huh? If you are not a diabetic yet, we also have United with their analytics trying to predict if you will need them some day. All of this is ok as long as you don’t “bomb” the consumer and use the data to make profits but they do sell a ton load of data.
These folks suing Walgreens (link below) and CVS were actually the ones who uncovered the information from the SEC about Walgreens. “As a measure of the information's value, the suit cites Walgreen's 2010 annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which lists "purchased prescription files" as intangible assets worth $749 million.” Ask any quant they watch the analytics on intangibles, just read an article last week about Lilly’s ratio.
To require 6 months of medical records for a refill on glucose strips…who are they selling the data to?
Wake up time folks…we need to license and tax the data sellers real soon and such a tax would fix a ton of federal budgets, it’s a goldmine with corporations making billions selling taxpayer data. Smaller independent pharmacies are going out of business as they don’t have enough data to sell…how the big guys do it. BD
Are your medical records are private as you think? A Biloxi physician said, probably not. Family practitioner Dr. Paul Matherne said the issues surrounding patient confidentiality concern him so much that he recently wrote a letter to editor about what is making him ill at ease.
Dr. Matherne said last week a pharmacy called his office asking for six months worth of medical records just so a patient could fill a prescription for blood glucose testing strips.
"My concern is where does this privacy law, HIPPA law, get divided?" said Dr. Matherne. "That history might include something psychological about them. It might be something about belly pains. Maybe there is some stress in their life or heart problems. Why does all of that have to be given in their chart to be reviewed by the drug store. In this case, it is actually reviewed by Medicare, to justify just giving them something that deals with Diabetes."
"I feel as if down the road they are going to question us," said Dr. Matherne. "How do you take care of your blood sugar? How do you take care of your blood pressure? How do you take care of your cholesterol? They're going to want to see how I perform and how you may perform. If we aren't performing right, they may come back and say, 'Let's make you pay higher premiums or maybe we don't let you have this insurance at all.'"