Restriction of Social Security Death Index Data Base Beginning to Play Havoc with Various Medical Research Agencies and Other In
Posted Oct 15 2012 12:26am
Last year I wrote about the index being flawed and those who are in there incorrectly I’m sure are not happy about I as they would still be living and it could cause issues for obtaining benefits, but in light of all that, it is the the most accurate data base in the US to determine if someone is dead or alive. Last year the government clamped down on who could use it and who could not. Now we have medical research companies and universities that say it is hampering some of their research as they can’t calculate accurate information as relates to organ transplants and other issues.
As mentioned below an annual subscription is around $1000 a year, and there’s part of the problem right there, Social Security was not charging enough. Why do I say that? Well when you look at what Walgreens makes on selling data, i.e. in 2010 they made under $800 million selling data…well I think the government should be charging a lot more for their efforts as now with the current day restrictions, everybody is complaining. Again I go back to excise taxing the “data sellers and brokers” to pay for some of this, namely the FDA and the NIH, who are going to need some extra money real fast as the threats of cuts are upon us.
This really is good business to investigate this area of selling data to tax as it is wide open for the taking and also contributes to consumer problems with the growing amount of flawed data that is surmounting when credible data is combined with non credible data for behavioral prediction behavior. Sure there’s knowledge to be gained on some of this but as a couple of university professors have agreed with me, “there are not enough trained people out there who know how to work with flawed data”. It’s sad that so many just believe any old numbers that are thrown at them today without checking the math and code as all become additionally “Algo Duped” over time. BD
A shift last year by the Social Security Administration to limit access to its death records amid concerns about identity theft is beginning to hamper a broad swath of research, including federal government assessments of hospital safety and financial industry efforts to spot consumer fraud.
For example, a research group that produces reports on organ-transplant survival rates is facing delays because of the extra work it must do to determine whether patients are still alive. The federal agency that runs Medicare uses the data to determine whether some transplant programs have such poor track records that they should be cut off from government financing.
“We are not going to be on time until this problem is corrected,” said Dr. Bertram L. Kasiske, a Minneapolis nephrologist who directs the research group, the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. “It’s a big deal. A lot of people look for these reports and depend on them.”
The Social Security Death Master File is an index of 90 million deaths that have been reported to the agency over 75 years by survivors, hospitals, funeral homes and state offices. The listings include names, Social Security numbers and dates of death. Jesse D. Schold, a health researcher at the Cleveland Clinic, said the holes in the master file, which will only grow larger, had already compromised his investigation into mortality rates among living kidney donors.
“The decades-old practice of publishing personal death information that anyone can buy needs to end, and now,” he said. It is also far more affordable for researchers than the leading alternative, a death index kept by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that, while more complete, is typically 14 months to 18 months out of date.