What a relief–you can opt out of the government’s electronic medical record system. From CNS News, HHS: Everyone Can Opt Out of Government-Mandated Electronic Health Records System
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says that everyone can opt out of having an electronic health record included in the federally mandated national electronic-health-record system created by the stimulus law enacted in February.
The $787 billion economic stimulus bill, the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” signed into law by President Obama in February, calls for “the utilization of an electronic health record for each person in the United States by 2014.” The law says the records should include a person’s “medical history and problems list.”…
How will the government make this happen?
…the law provides for doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers to be given financial incentives to begin participating in the EHR system by 2014. Doctors, hospitals and health care providers that fail to make “meaningful use” of the system by 2015, the law says, will be penalized with reductions in their Medicare payments.
A question: since doctors will lose Medicare money if they don’t use the system “meaningfully,” won’t that lead to doctor pressure on patients to participate?
But individual Americans can opt to never have an EHR entered in the system, according to Dr. David Blumenthal, who is overseeing the development of the system as HHS’s national coordinator for health-care information technology.
Another question: If a patient opts out of it, will non-participation impact care? Or, at least, will patients be told that by health care providers? After all, the electronic records system is supposed to improve patient care dramatically and save tons of money, or so goes the PR campaign.
An illustration of the dangers of asking a medical ignoramus a health care question:
Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D.-R.I.) recently told CNSNews.com that it would “totally be up to the individual” whether a doctor could list an abortion or an STD on their EHR. CNSNews.com asked Sebelius if that was the case, and whether patients could also prevent a mental illness or drug or alcohol abuse from being included on their EHR.
The article reports no response from Sebelius. And with good reason. Of what use is a partial medical history to a health care provider? All of the conditions mentioned can have a bearing on treatment. Hasn’t Kennedy heard of drug interactions? It is truly a case of what the doctor doesn’t know can kill you.
“We are extremely sensitive to the need for privacy and security of information,” said Blumenthal. “It is one of our very top priorities. And we have, actually have a health-information technology policy committee of national experts. We held a hearing on this topic just 10 days ago. This very question came up. We’ve charged that committee with studying how to protect patient information and they’re going to be reporting back to us.
Oh, well, then, case closed, worries over. The “experts” will take care of it. Eventually.
Blumenthal did not say when the committee studying the privacy issue would complete its work, but indicated that the financial incentives for health-care providers to begin using EHRs do not begin for another year and a half. “We have a little bit of time,” he said.
As of Monday, Blumenthal’s office had not answered follow-up questions that CNSNews.com submitted last week. A spokesman for the press office indicated that it could take “up to two weeks” for the request to be considered by the agency’s press secretary.
And the bureaucrats have time to come up with the proper narrative to conceal that they are leaving the dirty work of forcing people into the government database to the doctors. See? They’re leaving health care decisions up to you and your doctor. Don’t you feel better already?