In today’s Government Health IT Notebook, there is a statement by Deborah Peel, M.D., Founder and Chair of Patient Privacy Rights:
The story last week on e-prescribing [â€œ$3 billion annual savings estimated for Medicare e-prescribing,â€ GovHealthITcom, March 4] does not mention the elephant in the room: that every prescription in the nation has been data-mined and sold for over a decade to drug companies and employers without the legal consent of Americans.
The ‘consents’ on which this theft is based are illegal and coerced by health plans when you sign up annually for a health plan.
No e-prescribing legislation should pass unless it ends the daily theft of the nation’s electronic prescription records and restores Americans’ rights to health information privacy. My organization, Patient Privacy Rights, and our allies will oppose this bill unless it is fixed.
Today most Americans do not even know about this privacy disaster. Patient Privacy Rights is working to alert the public about this massive violation of their right to privacy.
Last Friday at a congressional briefing sponsored by the bipartisan Alliance for Health Reform and Divided We Fall, I called for congressional investigations into the secret corporate world that data mines our sensitive personal information.
The data mining industry makes billions in profits every year and not one dime goes to help a single sick person. Our healthcare system is so broken that the greatest profits in healthcare are made by corporations that steal our sensitive health records, not by the health professionals who actually treat and care for us when we are sick.
One prescription data mining corporation reported revenues in 2006 of $2 billion. One of the nation’s largest insurers sells the longitudinal claims and health data of all 79 million of its enrollees to large employers to lower their costs.
How on earth could they have obtained all that data without informed consent? All the data they sell can easily be re-identified with three bits of information, zip code, sex, and age. It is impossible to scrub the data in health records so clean that re-identification is impossible. Health data is so rich that it contains far too much detail to ever be safe.
Read More – GHIT