Chilling News About Health Privacy

You Have None.

Is there anything in your health record that you would not want to share with others? Prescriptions for anti-depressants, anxiety, cancer, long-ago abortions, AIDS or HIV, testing for the Alzheimer gene, your child’s Autism or ADD, sexual impotency prescriptions, hospital admissions, or anything else?

You assume your most personal health information is private, right? It’s not.

Like most Americans, you probably believe:

  • What you tell your doctor is totally private
  • If you sign “privacy notices” at a doctor’s office, a pharmacy, a hospital or a lab, your health records will not be used or disclosed without your permission
  • No one can look at your sensitive health records, prescriptions or tests without your permission

NONE of these assumptions are true.  Your right to decide who can see and use your sensitive, personal health information was eliminated in 2003.  See how.

Who Can See and Use your Health Records?

Over 4 million businesses, employers, government agencies, insurance companies, billing firms, and all their business associates that may include pharmacy benefits managers, and pharmaceutical companies as well as marketing firms and data miners.  See a sample chart here.

Patient consent is no longer required to share health records, no matter how embarrassing or intensely personal the contents may be.  While your doctor may wish to protect your information, once the records are sent out of their offices, they can no longer control who can see or use your information.

Whose Health Records are Vulnerable?

Everyone’s. Learn More.

Electronic health records are supposed to save lives and money — how can you be against progress?

We’re not. In fact, privacy is the key to progress with Health Information Technology (HIT). The potential benefits of electronic health systems cannot be realized unless Americans have confidence that ironclad privacy protections are in place for online health records, databases, and networks. As Americans realize how open their records actually are, they will avoid treatment and be much more selective about important information they share with their doctors. Patient Privacy Rights applauds the smart use of technology in medicine and the healthcare industry.

Bottom line:  No one should have to choose between privacy and health.

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