They got it wrong… AGAIN!

See article: ‘Meaningful Use’ criteria released

Can you believe it? Doctors and hospitals that purchase electronic health records (EHRs) ‘wired’ for ‘back-door’ data mining will be paid to steal and use our sensitive health records without our permission!

The government and the massive health data mining industry won. Industry and the government’s plan to continue illegal and unethical data mining trumped Americans’ rights to health privacy.

The rules guarantee that employers, insurers, banks, and government will be able to use our sensitive health information—from prescriptions to DNA— to discriminate against us in jobs, credit, and insurance.

Instead, the new interim rules for EHRs should reward the purchase and use of ‘smart’ EHRs with consent technologies so patients control who can see and use their health records.

The stimulus billions will be wasted because doctors and hospitals will be rewarded for using obsolete, unethical EHR ‘clunkers’. Like the UK, the US will be forced to spend billions to correct a disastrously flawed national electronic health system that prevents patients from controlling their health records.

To understand the “meaningful use” criteria that SHOULD be required in EHRs, see the comments submitted to the Administration by the bipartisan Coalition for Patient Privacy, representing millions of Americans: http://www.localhost:8888/pprold/media/Coalition_to_HIT_PC_Meaningful_Use.pdf

When will the Administration and corporations get it? Privacy protections have to be tough and comprehensive if we want a national HIT system that consumers will trust and use.

To act, join www.localhost:8888/pprold to get e-alerts. Stop corporations and the government from using your sensitive health information for uses you would never agree to.

‘Meaningful use’ criteria released

Modern Healthcare — HHS issued two sets of much-anticipated federal regulations that significantly further the government’s healthcare information technology adoption agenda.

The first set of regulations lists the “meaningful use” criteria that healthcare providers must meet to qualify for federal IT subsidies based on how they use their electronic health records. The second set of regulations lays out the standards and certification criteria that those EHRs must meet for their users to collect the money.

Between $14.1 billion and $27.3 billion is at stake, which was made available under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The meaningful use regulations are proposed regulations subject to a 60-day public comment period after which HHS would issue final regulations. The EHR certification regulations are interim final regulations that take effect in 30 days with a 60-day public comment period. HHS said final regulations will be published in 2010.

View Dr. Peel’s Comments

Facebook setting the standards for Health Care?

No laws forced Facebook to add more consumer control to who sees what — the public did. See story: Facebook privacy revisions ‘sign post’ for healthcare

This is EXACTLY what will happen to the health care system when Americans find out they have NO CONTROL over over who sees, uses, and snoops in their electronic health information.

Patient Privacy Rights’ job is to make sure they learn as fast as possible.

Sign up at www.localhost:8888/pprold for our e-alerts so you can help!

Patient Privacy Rights Wants You to Know How Health Data Is Used

Lora Bentley spoke with Ashley Katz, the executive director for Patient Privacy Rights, a national non-profit consumer health privacy watchdog, just before the organization released its privacy report cards for five personal health record systems that are available for consumer use. The goal, she says, is to inform the public how the data is being used, as well as give regulators a tool with which to determine how best to regulate the emerging market for PHRs.

Bentley: Is that how the PHR Report Card project came about?
Katz: It’s actually a specific grant-funded initiative. The Rose Foundation has a consumer and privacy fund. Part of the deliverables for our grant included putting out the PHR Report card. There were a couple of reasons for why we wanted to do that. One is we think it’s a great way to educate the public, by giving them something tangible and specific.

Gov’t. won’t always rule HIT: Blumenthal to NCQA

Private industry, not the federal government, will eventually drive health information technology initiatives, said David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health information technology at HHS, at a policy conference sponsored by the National Committee for Quality Assurance in Washington.

The federal government “has been investing a lot of effort and funds to push the adoption of health IT,” Blumenthal acknowledged, though he envisions a time when “the feds won’t be in this business, that we won’t be pushing health IT into the community,” but instead be trying to keep up with the advancements taking place in the private sector.

Overall, he seemed confident in physician adoption of electronic health records. A recent study of physician practices showed that 20% were using electronic records in 2008. Of those users, 90% said they were satisfied with the technology “and could point to quality improvements” as a result of using electronic records, Blumenthal stated.

ONC to hold closed-door privacy work group meeting

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology plans to host the first work group meeting on privacy and security Tuesday in a closed-door session.

Members of the public will not be allowed to join the conference call for the first meeting from 10 a.m. to noon ET, according to work group members. The work group will report to the Health Information Technology Policy Committee at its upcoming meeting Dec. 15, according to ONC spokesperson Nancy Szemraj.

At deadline, Szemraj and ONC head David Blumenthal did not respond to e-mail requests asking why the privacy and security work group meeting was not open to the public.

Patient Privacy Rights Grades Online Health Record Providers on Protections

Personal health records have been around for awhile. Microsoft’s HealthVault, for instance, entered beta in 2007. Google jumped into the fray not much later with Google Health. Generally, they are designed to be a “one stop shop” for an individual’s health information. Someone who uses the services can upload information themselves, or allow their doctor’s offices (pharmacies, other health care organizations) to upload and/or retrieve information as needed.

In theory, using such services would mean, for instance, that I wouldn’t have to recite the list of medicines I take every time I go to the doctor or to the urgent care center, because I could allow them to access my PHR online, and the record would be right there for them to see. But the idea is proving to be difficult to put into practice.

The first hurdle is interoperability. The different systems need to be able to talk to each other for records to be shared effectively. That’s what Dr. John Halamka and his colleagues on the Health Information Technology Standards Panel have been working on.

Second, the more people learn about how electronic health records work, the more privacy concerns come to the forefront. And even though those who use the different PHR services must acknowledge that they’ve read and agree to the vendor’s privacy policy, do they understand what that policy means? Do they understand what’s happening to the data they store in those systems? Patient Privacy Rights wants to make sure.

PHR Report Card from Patient Privacy Rights – Google Health Gets D/F, No More Clipboard Gets Only A?

In short, this sector is a long way from maturity. There are still huge problems to solve in the space.

Mixed feelings = both sad and energized by these reviews; upset because it means we’ve still go so far to go and energized because it means Contagion is on the right track.

Patient Privacy Rights unveils PHR report card

Are personal health records privacy risks? Most people are at a loss trying to figure that out, according to the Patient Privacy Rights Foundation, which is the premise behind its new report card on selected PHRs.

“They’re pretty much an unregulated new product,” said Ashley Katz, executive director of the Austin, Texas-based not-for-profit…

…Even after passage of the stimulus law, which extended the HIPAA privacy and security rules to those PHR vendors that contract with covered entities under certain circumstances, several prominent PHR “platform” vendors such as Microsoft Corp. and Google, questioned whether HIPAA privacy and security provisions of the new law applied to them.

Patient Privacy Rights grades five PHRs

Platforms provided by employers and insurers received an “F” rating from the report card.

…Katz said PPR could not grade the Partners/Programs on every category.  Some categories did not apply, and others could not be verified. Primarily, PPR wants to drive home that each Program/Partner has its own privacy policy and those policies can really vary, said Katz.

“We think it’s really critical for the public to understand how the personal health record works,” said Deborah Peel, MD, founder of Patient Privacy Rights. “Our focus is on control. Really what matters is patients see who is using their information and for what purpose.”