Privacy Watch
March 28, 2002
Bush Takes A Step Against Your Privacy

More on the Bush Administrations latest attack against your privacy: insisting that you to hand over your personal data right off the bat if you ever want to hope you see your reimbursement check from your health insurance provider.

See the article:
Bush Acts to Drop Core Privacy Rule on Medical Data,
by Robert Pear for the NY Times.

The Bush administration today proposed dropping a requirement at the heart of federal rules that protect the privacy of medical records. It said doctors and hospitals should not have to obtain consent from patients before using or disclosing medical information for the purpose of treatment or reimbursement.

The proposal, favored by the health care industry, was announced by Tommy G. Thompson, the secretary of health and human services, who said the process of obtaining consent could have "serious unintended consequences" and could impair access to quality health care.

The sweeping privacy rules were issued by President Bill Clinton in December 2000. When Mr. Bush allowed them to take effect last April, consumer advocates cheered, while much of the health care industry expressed dismay.

Today's proposal would repeal a provision widely viewed as the core of the Clinton rules: a requirement that doctors, hospitals and other health care providers obtain written consent from patients before using or disclosing medical information for treatment, the payment of claims or any of a long list of "health care operations," like setting insurance premiums and measuring the competence of doctors.

Posted by Lisa at March 28, 2002 05:43 PM | TrackBack
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