The Chinese are hacking our medical records. As electronic health records (EHRs) and Radio Frequency ID (RFID) medical device tracking expand under federal law, America has become vulnerable as a nation. Yet Congress continues to push interoperable Health IT at a serious risk to national security.
“Why isn’t any Presidential candidate talking about it?” That’s the question I heard on the phone last week. An Ohio woman called our office incensed by a violation of privacy she’d just experienced from a health care system and incredulous that no one on the national level is talking about the extraordinary privacy violations allowed under the federal HIPAA rule.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is correct. What matters in the pending ruling on the Obamacare premium subsidies lawsuit is “not what Congress would have wanted, but what Congress enacted.”
Titles of legislation often deceive. Consider H.R. 6, the “21st Century Cures Act” authored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI). The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee meets tomorrow to advance this bipartisan bill, which will: 1) hand over your private health data to millions of corporate and government outsiders for so-called “research”; and 2) prohibit electronic health records (EHR) from interfering with such research.
America’s largest health insurer is buying a national chain of urgent care clinics. Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, the largest health insurer in the United States, is purchasing MedExpress, which “operates 141 neighborhood medical centers in 11 states.” What does it mean if your doctor, clinic and insurer have joined camps?
The EHR was untested and untried – and now we know, dangerous. Last week a litigation expert said Congress may need to create an Injury Compensation Fund for Electronic Health Records (EHRs), similar to the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund. (Politico Pro, April 28, 2015).
Will robots dictate medical treatment? In “Could Artificial Intelligence End the Electronic Medical Record Nightmare?” physician Kevin R. Stone says doctors, nurses and patients used to talk with each other to share information and solve problems, but now, “The electronic medical record has killed the oral science.”