Patient Privacy




Federal Privacy Act of 1974

Records maintained on individuals

Mandated School Billing for Special Education Health Services

The 1998 Minnesota K-12 Omnibus Education bill mandated that all schools bill third-party payers (HMOs, insurers, and Medicaid) for health care services given under Special Education. M.S. 125A now mandates that funds ($50,000) be provided for training school staff in coding and other necessary skills and information for submitting Medicaid and insurance claims.

Psychological Testing in Schools

Referring to a 1986 newspaper expose': "It took four years, an audit of Pennsylvania's federal funding links to the EQA [Educational Quality Assessment], and a series of threats and counterthreats between federal and Pennsylvania education officials over the particulars of the funding, before state testing authorities finally admitted to the public that the EQA was, in fact, a psychological testing instrument and that it violated several of the seven protected areas under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, passed in 1978, sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch." (page 11)

Health Care Policy Group Warns New Law May Allow Breach of Medical Confidentiality

Citizens for Choice in Health Care (CCHC), a Minnesota health care policy organization, has recently discovered that a portion of the K-12 Education bill, which violated federal law (42 U.S.C.Sec. 405) by requiring the collection of student social security numbers, was not completely dropped from the 1998 bill.

Comments on Security and Electronic Signature Standards

We cannot support the proposed security standard because it does not establish a security standard as mandated, nor is it enforceable. Rather the Secretary of DHHS has proposed to allow each organization to create a system based on its own prioritization of risk, cost, confidentiality and security.

CCHC Public Comment: National Standard Employer Identifier

While the desire for efficiency is understandable, the implementation of the National Standard Employer Identifier will permit unwarranted federal monitoring of patient care, and linking of medical records through employers. This invasion of personal and medical privacy will diminish the excellence of the American health care system by creating barriers of distrust between doctors and patients and employers and employees. 

Unique Employer Identification number for Medical Records

CCHC cannot support mandatory submission, use, and reporting of the EIN which can be linked with other individually-identifiable information to build citizen profiles which will include confidential and sensitive medical record information. The implementation of yet another number for tracking citizens through their use of health care services&emdash;a time of great personal vulnerability&emdash;is not acceptable in a free society regardless of the apparent convenience and efficiency that would result. Citizens in a free society must be free to protect their privacy and their persons from unwarranted government oversight and monitoring.

United HealthCare (UHC) and Medical Confidentiality

Portions of Testimony by David S. Miller, Director, Health System Services, UHC, on the Unique Patient Identification Number at the National Committee on Vital Health Statistics hearing in Chicago, July 21, 1998

Testimony on Unique Patient Identifiers

We cannot support the implementation of standardized government-issued unique patient identifiers for individuals. Despite the fact that Congress passed the HIPAA law, this enumeration and surveillance system will clearly be detrimental to the liberty, privacy, and security of every United States citizen. Not only will this surveillance system allow government officials to use doctors to track citizens at their most vulnerable times when they have no where else to go...

Portion of Testimony from Chris Chute of the Mayo Foundation