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Your health records available to millions

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posted on Oct, 9 2009 @ 01:10 AM

Your health records available to millions


Would American citizens object if they knew 4 million health-related businesses distributed private details about their mental illnesses, cancer diagnoses, sexually transmitted diseases, prescriptions, addictions and sensitive genetic information?


'Part of the language that keeps people assured is they say things like, 'No unauthorized users can see your information.' That sounds pretty good,' she said. 'The problem is, they don't tell you how many authorized users there are.'

The article continues to state some little known facts...

Amending HIPAA 'Privacy Rule'

Congress passed HIPAA in 1996, but it did not include a medical privacy statute. Rather, the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, was required to submit detailed recommendations on patient health privacy regulations. In 2001, HHS released "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information," also known as "the Privacy Rule," 65 Fed. Reg. 82,462. The HIPAA "Privacy Rule" recognized the patient's "right of consent"

They were required to submit recommendations... But ... Just like everything government...

...the HHS amended the "Privacy Rule" in 2002 and eliminated the patient's right of consent, granting permission to "covered entities" to share private health information:

"The consent provisions … are replaced with a new provision … that provides regulatory permission for covered entities to use and disclose protected health information for treatment, payment, and health care operations."

67 Fed. Reg. at 53,211

This amendment provides federal "regulatory permission" to more than 600,000 "covered entities" and millions of "business associates" to use and disclose identifiable health information for a variety of "routine" purposes.

They got it wrong and no one is the wiser.

When you sign those HIPAA forms thinking all is good and safe and secure... It's not really because anything required by some '3rd party' is probably easily obtained and is probably the last agency that you want knowing about your health records.

It took me awhile to recover my jaw from the table and then relay this article. I searched and didn't find that it has been posted anywhere on ATS. (I use Google then add "ATS" to whatever I'm searching for ... Works wonders over the ATS search.)

Seems fairly important. Not that I have anything to hide but yet again I feel completely duped into a false sense of security with anything medical. HIPAA is essentially worthless to us. Remind your doctors and nurses.

[edit on 10·9·09 by DrMattMaddix]


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