I told you so. Online medical records are not about efficiency, they are about control


Kiss your doctor relationship goodbye

I mentioned in a previous post, Big Brother and your medical records, that the stimulus money that is going to online medical records is, by fiat, the huge leap forward for government takeover of the health care industry. One that got little pressplay anywhere else.  Government control of our medical information in a necessary step to becoming a good single payer.  They can only distribute health care efficiently if they have all your information.

Now we see where they plan on going with this.  Kiss the relationship between you and your doctor goodbye.  Kiss the relationship between you and your insurance company goodbye.  Don't listen to what Obama says, look what he does.  The stimulus did, by fiat, what he could not put into the health care bill, via CNS News
The new regulations are one of the first steps towards the government’s goal of universal adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by 2014, as outlined in the 2009 economic stimulus law. Specifically, the regulations issued on Tuesday by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Dr. David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, define the "meaningful use" of electronic records. Under the stimulus law, health care providers--including doctors and hospitals--must establish "meaningful use" of EHRs by 2014 in order to qualify for federal subsidies. After that, they will be subjected to penalties in the form of diminished Medicare and Medicaid payments for not establishing "meaningful use" of EHRs.

Section 3001 of the stimulus law says: "The National Coordinator shall, in consultation with other appropriate Federal agencies (including the National Institute of Standards and Technology), update the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan (developed as of June 3, 2008) to include specific objectives, milestones, and metrics with respect to the following: (i) The electronic exchange and use of health information and the enterprise integration of such information.‘‘(ii) The utilization of an electronic health record for each person in the United States by 2014."
It is not about efficiency.  Its about control.  There are plenty of ways to make the process more efficient.  The private sector has already figured this out.  They can give everyone their own electronic records where they control the information.  They could give everyone a pen drive where they could control the information themselves for about $10 Billion dollars, instead of the $36Billion dollars that was allocated to online medical records from the stimulus.  Instead the government wants this information online.  Why?  So they can snoop, in the name of making the system more efficient. This is not conspiracy.  You can read what has been done in other countries.  The government takes the control out of your hands and places it into bureaucrats.  Every socialized system has done this.
From the UK (See http://bit.ly/blRvA1) where they are starting with the basics, but it has been admitted that additional information will be added over time:
Summary Care Records are central to the NHS computer upgrade in England, which is the biggest healthcare IT programme in the world.

The basic record includes information on allergies, medication and adverse reactions. Further details may be added over time.
From Germany where the government has access to entire patients health history (See http://bit.ly/c1z3Dq):

Germany began to field test a nationwide eHealth card scheme which would ultimately embrace 80m users, 300 health insurance companies, 2,200 hospitals and 188,000 physicians and dentists.

As well as containing patient data and insurance details, the smartcard can hold electronic prescriptions and, more controversially, be used to access a patient’s health history online.
From Canada where not only does the government have access to the entire patient history, but the patient doesn't even have access to their own medical records (See http://bit.ly/a262GZ):

Start a discussion with Kevin Leonard, a University of Toronto professor who has been researching electronic health records for more than a decade, and his own frustrations come gushing out.

...if he wants to view electronically his entire record, his most recent blood tests, his latest MRI, he can't see them. … They [the hospital staff] say I don't have authority to access my electronic file."
And you wonder why this is a big deal?

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