August 28, 2014

Your Private Medical Records Are Being Sold to Drug Companies

pin it button Your Private Medical Records Are Being Sold to Drug Companies

Medical Your Private Medical Records Are Being Sold to Drug Companies

by Alliance for Natural Health

Even worse, half of all US states leave enough information in the records that YOU can be clearly identified. Action Alert!

Hospitals and other medical organizations are supposed to be bound by HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) to keep medical records private. Patient information that is shared is supposed to be stripped of key identifying information (this is known as the Safe Harbor rule). However, HIPAA and other privacy legislation is riddled with loopholes—so many that it has been estimated that over 800,000 organizations can access your records.

Here is one big, fat loophole: state public health agencies are exempt from Safe Harbor rules when they sell private medical records as part of a health database. When this medical data is cross-referenced with other public information (such as news reports and other databases), it can reveal your identity.

Many states in the US voluntarily follow HIPAA guidelines when sharing electronic medical records, but at least twenty-five states leave some combination of identifying information that makes it possible for whoever buys the data to pinpoint anyone’s personal medical record—and then make it public. Records in Washington, New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Arizona were particularly vulnerable, according to records reviewed by Bloomberg News and Latanya Sweeney, director of Harvard University’s Data Privacy Lab.

Who would want this data? The drug industry, for one. Pharmaceutical companies are major buyers of these medical records—they use them to design ads to doctors and target potential patients. Other buyers include IMS Health, a provider of prescription data, also used by drug companies; OptumInsight, a division of UnitedHealth Group, the country’s biggest health insurer; and WebMD, which uses the data to tailor information found on their website.

As the public becomes more aware of just how vulnerable electronic medical records (EMRs) are, consumers may be more reluctant to seek medical care. Patients rely on doctor–patient confidentiality, and that sacred trust is meaningless if one’s information is sold to the highest bidder.

Case in point: there is a new form of gonorrhea that is resistant to cephalosporin and other antibiotics. This is a serious public health concern, and one that requires careful treatment (not to mention a great deal more research). While young people are at the highest risk for gonorrhea, they are also the most likely to hesitate to see a doctor—particularly for such a personal, potentially humiliating issue—if they fear their private information will be exposed.

In addition, EMRs can cost taxpayers money. The digital nature of the data means it is much easier for doctors to overbill, whether by mistake or through fraud. As we reported in February, doctors can claim to provide more services than they actually do; they can also cut and paste the same examination findings for multiple patients for the sake of expediency, even if those same findings only applied to one or two. EMRs can actually increase the paperwork burden, are subject to serious technological glitches, and of course are tremendously vulnerable to hackers and other security violations.

In an interesting new trend, many doctors are choosing to operate outside the system all together, providing “concierge” medical services to patients on a prepaid membership-fee basis rather than on a standard insurance model. Some concierge doctors stop accepting insurance altogether and can charge as little as $38 a month, though for most people the annual fee amounts to roughly $4 to $5 per day. This system can be a win/win for doctors and patients: patients’ medical records can more easily be kept outside of the huge medical record databases; it can cut down on unnecessary treatments and, of course, high insurance costs; and it allows doctors to see fewer patients and give the ones they have more personalized care.

Most of the medical industry, however, is still stuck in this miasma of messed up medical records, poor security, and legal loopholes that allow patients’ private information to be publicly exposed.

Action Alert! Ask Congress to amend HIPAA to allow patients to opt out—to keep their medical information from being sold or shared with any entity that is not currently giving the patient medical treatment.

Take Action11 Your Private Medical Records Are Being Sold to Drug Companies

Read the full article here: http://www.anh-usa.org/your-private-medical-records-are-being-sold-to-drug-companies


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CDC Whistleblower: Mercury in Vaccines Given to Pregnant Women Linked to Autism

CDC Whistleblower: Mercury in Vaccines Given to Pregnant Women Linked to Autism

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Today, the Autism Media Channel released a short video where CDC whistle-blower Dr. William Thompson states, in a phone call to Dr. Brian Hooker, that injecting mercury into pregnant women creates a “clear and present danger” to the unborn child. Thimerosal, a form of mercury used as a preservative in vaccines, was removed from most childhood vaccines a few years ago, but is still in the annual flu shot, which is recommended for pregnant women.

Dr. Thompson, in the video below, insists that this mercury in vaccines causes “tics” in children, and these tics are 4 times more prevalent in kids with autism. “Tics” are defined on the CDC website as: “Tics are sudden twitches, movements, or sounds that people do repeatedly. People who have tics cannot stop their body from doing these things. For example, a person with a motor tic might keep blinking over and over again. Or, a person with a vocal tic might make a grunting sound unwillingly.”

Watch the short 1 minute video.

CDC Responds: Admits Omitting Vaccine Data Linking Vaccines to Higher Rates of Autism

CDC Responds: Admits Omitting Vaccine Data Linking Vaccines to Higher Rates of Autism

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While the mainstream media continues to ignore what is becoming the biggest news event of the year, the CDC is scrambling to respond to damaging data that they were forced to release earlier this year clearly showing they had data linking vaccines to autism that they hid from the public. This issue can longer be hidden since one of the top researchers within the CDC, who co-authored several of the studies that supposedly showed no link between vaccines and autism, has decided to become a whistle-blower. He has yet to make an official statement, and it is thought that his attorney is seeking official whistle-blower status before he does so.

The CDC, on the other hand, has responded to Dr. Brian Hooker’s newly published study reanalyzing a 2004 CDC study that excluded data showing a significant increase in autism among African American boys who were vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. They supplied a response to the Next News Network, admitting they excluded certain data, and the reasons for doing so. Next News interviewed Dr. Hooker to discuss the CDC response. Dr. Hooker, through a 10-year legal battle with the CDC and hundreds of Freedom of Information requests, finally received the entire data sets from the CDC after Congressman Bill Posey stepped in to put pressure on them to release it. We also now know that Dr. Hooker was in contact for more than a year with an insider in the CDC who has become a whistle-blower, which undoubtedly applied pressure on the CDC to obey the law and release the data.

In this interview, Dr. Hooker states that the CDC is lying in their response, and the reason they are doing so is to protect the reputation of the MMR vaccine. He also points out that the CDC purchases $4 billion of vaccines from the vaccine industry every year, and are the last ones who should be trusted to do studies on vaccine safety due to their huge conflict of interest.

Social Workers Snatch Sick Kids Away from Parents on Fake Diagnosis

Social Workers Snatch Sick Kids Away from Parents on Fake Diagnosis

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The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) helps defend parents who chose to educate their children at home from medical tyranny and abuse. They are a non-profit organization that depends on contributions and membership fees to provide free legal representation. They have successfully litigated cases on parental rights all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

HSLDA recently announced they had taken on a case in Virginia where social workers removed two children from the home where they lived with their parents over a fake psychological diagnosis.

Is 16-Year-Old Boy Seized from Mother Being Used in Medical Research?

Is 16-Year-Old Boy Seized from Mother Being Used in Medical Research?

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It has been 4 months since Cook County officials and Lurie Children’s Hospital seized custody of 16-year-old Isaiah Rider from his mother Michelle Rider because she disagreed with his treatment and wanted to transfer him to another hospital.

Isaiah suffers from a condition called neurofibromatosis, and his mother originally brought him to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago because they had specialists on staff trained to treat this disease. But when Isaiah’s condition, which includes severe pain, was not getting any better, she decided to transfer him to a different hospital. As a result, Lurie Children’s Hospital stepped in and seized custody. Isaiah has recorded a video in support of his mother, who he is not allowed to see anymore.

In the report blow by Fox4kc, Michelle explains why she thinks they may be holding Isaiah: to do medical research. The top researchers in the world for neurofibromatosis are at Lurie Children’s Hospital, and the specialists there have previously told her that Isaiah’s case is “very rare.”

Data on Serious Hospital Errors Will Now Be Withheld from the Public

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Preventable medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the US, right after heart disease and cancer, claiming the lives of 210,000 Americans each year. More than two million people are affected by hospital-acquired infections each year, and 75,000-100,000 people die as a result of those infections. The federal government has quietly decided to “solve” the problem of hospital acquired conditions by burying the data.

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