by G. Hamilton, MSW
Your mental (that’s right, mental) and physical health information is being shared widely without your permission. The healthcare system has been transformed into a big government-controlled bureaucracy with a never-been-seen-before database of personal information on everyone who receives care. Third parties receive the information and can access it. It’s all being done without your permission and without you even being made aware.
These databases might one day be used for rationing or controlling people. Perhaps that is happening now.
Given the extremely large number of people who will handle everyone’s personal information, it’s inevitable that it will be misused.
Take the following example of one of the abuses currently going on. Mental health professionals are receiving letters – not only from insurance companies funded by The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – but from third parties requesting records and personal information of their patients. Some of these third parties are data mining companies.
This is your most private mental health information. It will be put into enormous databases without real oversight or significant accountability. Conceivably, thousands of people could gain access.
Patients don’t have to give their permission for their records to be released and they aren’t even made aware that it is happening.
One data mining company that partners with CMS – Inovalon – has a national reach. They are one of the third parties requesting all records on patients receiving mental healthcare under Medicare Advantage. In one letter [linked below], they state they need the information in order “to meet the insurance company’s requirements” and to “clarify specific member medical conditions.”
They say they will only ask for the minimal information required to meet these requirements, but as evidenced in the linked documents, they ask for a patient’s complete medical record for a full year. This includes SOAP notes (very detailed written documentation of a patient’s mental health problems, treatment, progress, and prognosis).
Why do they need all the patients’ information, including their charts?
Inovolan claims they are acquiring the information under a 2002 amendment to HIPPA laws that ‘legally’ and ‘morally’ justify this intrusion on Medicare Advantage clients’ privacy rights.
This sounds like a real stretch.
In most cases this information is going to the Federal government and private insurance companies. In some cases, however, it is going to the patient’s employer – unions. All the program notes will be in the hands of unions!
Apparently you only have to be a business partner of a covered entity to qualify for acquiring all of a patient’s information.
Therapists who don’t comply, don’t get paid. They are even making therapists go back for three months to a full year of records in what is a time-consuming and labor-intensive effort. One therapist was told, “No one ever questions this. They just send us the records.” when she challenged the ethical and legal issues surrounding these disclosures.
Business partners who can get patients’ records include community care transitions programs (CCTs). Hospitals are finding themselves referring cases to CCTs to avoid fines for hospital over-admissions under Obamacare’s Draconian rules.
These programs are Alinsky-style organizing, rationing and proportioning programs. This is part of the fundamental transformation of our healthcare system. Their purpose is mainly to reduce costs, and undoubtedly – eventually – especially so for the frail and elderly who are costly.
To qualify for funding, the lead organization must be “. . . a community-based organization which has adequate representation of the provider stakeholders and adequate representation of the consumers on its board – so it’s a very special organization – Medicare has determined that public organizations like a Department of Health can qualify, and that Area Agencies on Aging can qualify, but you’ll have United Way agencies and others that might be able to do this …”
Far-left organizations will qualify.
There are big bucks involved.
Patients have not only lost privacy rights but they will be subject to rationing once their data is analyzed in an impersonal way and a decision is made by some nameless, faceless bureaucrat.
Bureaucracies are unelected, inhumane and immoral. They have no feelings, no values, and are guided by rules and the bottom line.
These multitudinous organizations that are asking for all personal information on the patients claim it will not be used to judge the provider but it could be.
It’s not just Medicare and Medicaid, it’s Obamacare patients, TriCare patients, anyone who passes through the government funding mechanisms.
If we allow these intrusions into our personal data, data easily accessed and hacked, we will find that people are under government control in every aspect of their lives. A patient might one day want to run for office and find that their anxiety disorder years before is now part of the opposing party’s attack.
A person’s guns could be confiscated.
There are endless possibilities.
Medical and mental health information could be used to blackmail and hurt anyone and everyone.
The Obamacare datahub was formed in 2013. When the government filed for it, the hub was described as a new “system of records” that will store names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, taxpayer status, gender, ethnicity, email addresses, telephone numbers on the millions of people expected to apply for coverage at the ObamaCare exchanges, as well as “tax return information from the IRS, income information from the Social Security Administration, and financial information from other third-party sources.”
They also store data from businesses buying coverage through an exchange, including a “list of qualified employees and their tax ID numbers,” and keep it all on file for 10 years.
The federal government can disclose this information “without the consent of the individual” to a wide range of people, including “agency contractors, consultants, or grantees” who “need to have access to the records” to help run ObamaCare, as well as law enforcement officials to “investigate potential fraud.”
I must add that this will all be outsourced to left-wing friendly organizations.
The government can access your financial records and take your money WITHOUT A WARRANT thanks to Obamacare.
The Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – gives the federal government access to individual bank accounts and medical records as provided by that individual’s health plan.
CMS is also on the data hub.
Investors reported that the hub, established for Obamacare eligibility determination and management, is the train depot for everyone’s personal information and will all be controlled by the BIG government.
People are worried about the NSA but why aren’t they worried about this?
Batsh#t crazy Maxine Waters told us in 2013 that Barack Obama was putting together a database like no one has ever seen before with information on every person like it’s never been done before and anyone running for office will have to deal with it.