AFFIRMATIVE MEDICAL INHERENCY 229
MEDICARE PROTECTIONS ARE INADEQUATE
MEDICARE RECORDS ARE NOT PROTECTED FROM ABUSE
MARY JACOBY, St. Petersburg Times, July 21, 1999, SECTION: NATIONAL; Pg. 4A TITLE: Protect privacy of Medicare records, agency urges // acs-EE2001
The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, has found that no formal system ensures that organizations that legally obtain Medicare records comply with the 1974 Privacy Act.
As a result, the federal Health Care Financing Administration, which oversees Medicare, has little chance of catching insurers, medical researchers or others who misuse Medicare beneficiaries' confidential medical records, the report found.
"Although few complaints about Privacy Act violations have been made to date, we believe that the weaknesses we and others have identified potentially compromise the confidentiality of health information on Medicare beneficiaries," a GAO report said.
MEDICARE RECIPIENTS GIVE UP THEIR MEDICAL RECORD CONFIDENTIALITY WHEN THEY SIGN UP
Coralie Carlson; Staff Writer, Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), July 21, 1999, SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 12A TITLE: House panel ponders how to provide privacy for Medicare patients// acs-EE2001
A House subcommittee grappled Tuesday with ways to assure medical privacy for Medicare patients who Rep. Jim Ramstad, R-Minn., said currently have few confidentiality protections.
Citing a report by the General Accounting Office, Ramstad called medical privacy in the Medicare system an "oxymoron." The report showed that Medicare recipients agree to release their medical records when they sign up for benefits.
They do not have the option of keeping their information confidential from researchers, said Rep. William Thomas, R-Calif., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's subcommittee on health.
IN 1997 AND 1998 THERE WAS NO REVIEW OF MEDICAL DATA PRIVACY COMPLIANCE
Jonathan Gardner, Modern Healthcare, July 26, 1999; Pg. 6 TITLE: NEW REPORTS QUESTION MEDICAL PRIVACY LAWS // acs-VT2001
The second report, from the General Accounting Office, said HCFA did not review its carriers' and intermediaries' procedures for protecting the privacy of beneficiaries' medical records in 1997 and 1998, possibly opening the door to unauthorized disclosure of confidential health information.