AFFIRMATIVE MEDICAL IDENTIFIERS 237
MEDICAL IDENTIFIERS RISK PRIVACY LOSS
HEALTH IDENTIFIERS RISK A PRIVACY CATASTROPHE OF DATA ABUSE
Leah Curtin and Roy Simpson; Health Management Technology, August, 1999; Pg. 32 TITLE: Privacy in the Information Age? // acs-VT2001
The provision of the health ID number is part of the Kennedy-Kassenbaum bill. It is designed to make up-to-date information easily available to clinicians and researchers. Privacy advocates, however, assert that this information belongs to the patient, and outside entities should not be able to get it without the patient's consent. And that covers only the legally accessible information. When one considers the potential for "data-theft" and "data-embezzlement" the mind boggles, Carroll says.
* A Florida healthcare worker leaked a confidential list of AIDS patients to newspapers;
* A Colorado medical student sold medical records to malpractice lawyers;
* Medicaid clerks in Maryland sold computer printouts of patients' financial records to managed care companies;
* A convicted rapist in Massachusetts used someone else's password to peruse 1000 patient files, looking for phone numbers which he used to make obscene phone calls.
MEDICAL IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM WOULD THREATEN PRIVACY
Phil Porter, The Columbus Dispatch, July 12, 1999, SECTION: NEWS , Pg. 4B TITLE: MEDICAL ID SYSTEM DEBATED ISSUE COMES DOWN TO PRIVACY RIGHTS VS. HEALTH BENEFITS // acs-EE2001
Bernadine Healy, dean of Ohio State University's College of Medicine and Public Health who will become president of the American Red Cross on Sept. 1, opposes a medical identification system.
"Some patients may not want everyone to know about the mole on their arm, the injury suffered in high school or sensitive information such as treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, depression, substance abuse or an abortion,'' said Healy, former director of the National Institutes of Health.
She and others worry that easier access to personal health information could lead to abuse by law officers, employers, computer hackers and medical professionals.
"Having lived in Washington and seen privacy rules broken routinely, I have no real confidence that such information would not be abused,'' Healy said.
UNIQUE HEALTH IDENTIFIER IS A PRIVACY THREAT
Kelly Patricia O'Meara; Insight on the News, February 14, 2000, Pg. 18, TITLE: Public Comment on Medical Records // acs-EE2001
Sue Blevins, president of the Institute for Health Freedom, a Washington-based nonprofit educational organization dedicated to defending the right of individuals to choose their health care without government intervention, tells Insight that "the privacy regulations are what is going to guide the unique health identifier." Blevins explains that Congress already has "passed a one-year moratorium basically telling HHS that it can't use any funds to set up the unique health identifier. But this is just a stopgap measure - a jack-in-the-box issue that, when you least expect it, will pop its head up. And in order to stop it completely, Congress has to repeal that section of HIPAA. The regulators are stripping privacy, not protecting it. The way the regulations read, if everyone can collect information about your DNA without your consent, then they don't need a 'unique health identifier,' they already have it."