CCHF Warns Americans of Proposed National Patient Tracking System, Urges Public Comment by April 3

 

***NEWS RELEASE***

For Immediate Release
April 1, 2015

CONTACT:
Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, or Beth Harrison, Hamilton Strategies, 610.584.1096, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com

 

CCHF Warns Americans of Proposed National Patient Tracking System, Urges Public Comment by April 3

 

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom: Federal Plan Strips States’ and Patients’ Rights, Views Private Patient Data as Public Property

 

ST. PAUL, Minn.Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a Minnesota-based national organization dedicated to preserving patient-centered health care and protecting patient and privacy rights, is warning Americans of a federal plan to impose a National Medical Records System to track and analyze patient data and control doctors.

The Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC) is taking public comments through 5 p.m. EDT, Friday, April 3 regarding the proposed National Patient Tracking System, which will interlink patients’ private medical information and tie the hands of doctors and clinicians around the country.

“For years, the federal government has been trying to capture all the medical data and private information on Americans it can,” said Twila Brase, CCHF co-founder and president. “This proposed plan will hook every American up to a massive, unsecure information grid and essentially make their private patient data public for millions to see. We must come together as a country and tell the bureaucrats who are out for our private medical histories that enough is enough.”

CCHF submitted public comment this week regarding the dangers of the proposal and is urging Americans to submit comments online to voice their opposition to the plan by visiting the ONC Public Comment page. The deadline for public comment is Friday, April 3, at 5 p.m. EDT. Site visitors can download the full 166-page document, “Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, Draft Version 1.0.”

CCHF has also evaluated the document and highlighted eleven critical points of opposition.  In brief, the Roadmap:

  1. Proposes to repeal federal law that allows state legislatures to enact true medical privacy laws for citizens. The Roadmap proposes to undo states’ rights under HIPAA to enact state laws and conform all state laws to the federal HIPAA “no privacy” rule (p. 67).
     
  2. Views patient data as public property rather than personal property: “Data holders … should ensure standards are prioritized, developed and implemented to support the public interest, national priorities and the rights of individuals” (p. 33).
     
  3. Makes patients vulnerable to hacking of patient data: “As health IT systems have become increasingly connected to each other, cyber threats have concurrently increased at a significant rate. In an interoperable, interconnected health system, an intrusion in one system could allow intrusions in multiple other systems” (p. 55).
     
  4. Turns medical systems into a research endeavor at the bedside: “The goal of this shift is to a nationwide learning health system—an environment that links the care delivery system with communities and societal supports in ‘closed loops’ of electronic health information flow, at many different levels, to enable continuous learning and improved health.”
     
  5. Uses of data that many patients will not accept: “An interoperable health IT ecosystem should support critical public health functions, such as real-time case reporting, disease surveillance and disaster response, as well as data aggregation for research and value-based payment that rewards higher quality care, rather than a higher quantity of care.”
     
  6. Newspeak and NO privacy: The Roadmap claims, “The HIPAA Privacy Rule was designed to ensure that individuals’ health information is protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide high quality health care.” Also, “all organizations regulated by HIPAA must understand in the same way that HIPAA, through its permitted uses and its privacy protections, actually enables interoperability.” HIPAA protects no one’s privacy. It opens up the medical records of everyone, permitting broad access unless a stronger state law exists.
     
  7. Encourages citizens to share daily activities and behaviors for entry into the national data system: “Health information such as personally maintained dietary logs, medical device data such as blood glucose readings and many other bits of information that inform health-related decision-making (both inside and outside the care delivery system) must also be connected in reusable ways in a dynamic ecosystem supported by health IT” (p. 17).
     
  8. Links data without consent for government and research use: “As a learning health system evolves, more than individual/patient-specific information from health records will be matched and linked, including provider identities, system identities, and device identities and others to support public health and clinical research” (p. 24).
     
  9. Proposes to turn EHR companies into public utilities to create a national medical records system: “Data holders and entities facilitating interoperability of electronic health information should not establish policies or practices in excess of law that limit the availability of electronic health information by another entity that is in compliance with applicable laws and these governance principles” (pp. 32-33).
     
  10. Uses financial penalties to enforce practitioner compliance with EHRs and interoperability (data sharing): Among other penalties, the Roadmap calls for “requirements/penalties that raise the costs of not moving to interoperable systems” (p. 39).
     
  11. Changes medical practice by giving outsiders access to data: “Providers should have the tools they need to support a cultural shift in the way they practice medicine and use technology that supports the critical role of information sharing” (p. 50). [Emphasis added]

After commenting, let CCHF know by emailing info@cchfreedom.org.

For more information about CCHF, visit its web site at www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page atwww.facebook.com/cchfreedom or its Twitter feed, @CCHFreedom.

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, a patient-centered national health freedom organization based in St. Paul, Minn., exists to protect health care choices and patient privacy.​ CCHF sponsors the daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which airs on approximately 350 stations nationwide, including 200 on the American Family Radio Network and 100 on the Bott Radio Network. Listeners can learn more about the agenda behind health care initiatives and​ steps they can take to protect their health care choices, rights and privacy. 

CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase, R.N., has been called one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care” and one of “Minnesota’s 100 Most Influential Health Care Leaders.” A public health nurse, Brase has been interviewed by CNN, Fox News, Minnesota Public Radio, NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today Show, NPR, New York Public Radio, the Associated Press, Modern Healthcare, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Washington Times, among others. She is at the forefront of informing the public of crucial health issues, such as intrusive wellness and prevention initiatives in Obamacare, patient privacy, informed consent, the dangers of “evidence-based medicine” and the implications of state and federal health care reform.

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For more information or to interview Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, or Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.

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