Blue Cross Blue Shield Database is "Big Health Surveillance"

Saint Paul, Minnesota -- The Blue Cross Blue Shield database is bad for patients and doctors, according to Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC).

On Friday, Blue Cross Blue Shield launched "the largest private medical database in the U.S." (St. Paul Pioneer Press, 8/6/06). The database is called Blue Health Intelligence.

Twila Brase, president of CCHC, makes the following statement:

"Blue Health Intelligence is 'Big Health Surveillance.'

"This is not about quality, it's about control. The American public should fear the collection of patient data into large databases by those who already penalize doctors and patients using prior authorization schemes, restrictive tiering systems, and financial penalties for providing individualized patient care.

"The more data the Blues have, the more it can be used against patients-to meet the cost-cutting, care-restricting agendas of powerful people outside the exam room.

"While privacy is a real issue, the bigger issue is control. Fully implemented and tied to the Blues intrusive 'pay for performance' plans, the database threatens to take the practice of medicine away from doctors, leaving patients vulnerable to the care-restricting directives of health plan executives-and collaborating employers and government agencies."

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President and Co-founder
Office: 651-646-8935