Do you trust the NSA and the IRS with your health records?

The Department of Health and Human Services says that virtually all doctors and health providers will be using electronic health records by the end of the year. My dentist’s receptionist told me that they are also being required by the government to use electronic records by mid 2014. Virtually all healthcare providers are moving to centralized, electronic health records.

We know from recent revelations from Edward Snowden that the NSA can access virtually anything that is transmitted or stored on line. We also know that the Internal Revenue Service is the enforcement agent under Obamacare, thus they will have direct access to your personal health information. They already know how much money you make and what you paid in taxes.

Are you comfortable with this? I am not. As importantly I am not comfortable as a mental health provider subjecting my patients to this. Thus, I have decided that I will not participate in Obamacare. You should too if you care about the privacy rights of your patients. In fact, you could be sued just for participating.

Take a look at this real-life scenario I found on the Freedom Works page:

A friend visited the emergency room recently to treat a severe infection in his leg. His doctor was unavailable so he was advised to go the local emergency room to receive treatment. After waiting the requisite several hours, my friend was visited by a nurse who, upon looking at his electronic medical chart, asked about a prescription for eye drops that had been filled at a pharmacy outside the hospital earlier in the day. What makes this story interesting is that the prescribing physician was located in another state and unaffiliated with the treating hospital. My friend soon discovered that this nurse knew every prescription that my friend had filled whether from a local or online pharmacy including those prescribed by doctors located in other states not affiliated with the network of local doctors and hospitals. Welcome to Obamacare!

For those of you who are outraged that the NSA is creating digital dossiers on law abiding American citizens, this is exactly what Obamacare and electronic medical records are doing TODAY! According to the Department of Health and Human Services, mosts doctors offices and 80% of hospitals will employ electronic medical records by the end of the year. That is not surprising since they have received billions of dollars in incentive payments to deploy such systems. Despite the claimed benefits, in the age of Wikileaks, does the government need access to our most personal medical information in order for our health system to operate efficiently? Former CIA director David Petraeus resigned from office to avoid the threat of blackmail should an enemy possess compromising information about a personal relationship. Don’t such all encompassing record keeping systems invite similar potential for abuse if Senator X will do anything to keep information about a psychological disorder or other diseases confidential?

This is not a science fiction scenario. It is happening now. Are you comfortable with it?


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