“The fact is that a bill allowing any employer to deny insurance coverage based on a moral objection – along with giving an employer permission to ask for medical records showing why a woman is taking birth control – opens up a set of problems that I’m sure its sponsors have not fully considered.” — Richard Carmona, United States Surgeon General from 2002–2006.
There was a time because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) of 1996 when every American’s health record was kept secret. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention website reads,
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge.
Medical information confidentiality was the one thing that doctors and patients could depend upon. HIPPA was designed specifically to insure “nothing” would be shared without the “patient’s consent.”
That consent has now been compromised.
Today there is a new weapon that is being used to destroy doctor patient confidentiality—Electronic Health Records (EHRs).
Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
Mobius.MD’s on reported,
Doctors have been documenting patient health since at least 1,600-3,000 BC, the approximate date of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs that depict the practice of keeping medical records. However, paper medical records weren’t steadily used until the early 1900s. In the past 100 years, terminology has shifted from “medical record” to “health record,” suggesting that a patient’s chart should also include health and lifestyle information.
Going from paper medical records to electronic health records is the weapon of choice to monitor both a doctor’s and their patients’ “lifestyle information.” Lifestyle information could include things like a persons diversity, equity and inclusion views, for example.
The monitors are government agencies, medical licensing institutions, hospitals and insurance company employees.
In 2009, EHRs got the boost they were waiting for with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The HITECH Act motivated widespread digitization of healthcare by incentivizing the meaningful use of EHRs and related technology.
These graduated incentive payments worked, and in 2018 over 98 percent of hospitals use EHRs. While adoption by physicians as a whole has been slower (closer to 70 percent), it is now common to electronically share health records between providers.
Widespread EHR adoption has been coupled by a growing industry and rapid innovation. As of 2017, there were over 186 vendors supplying EHR technology to US hospitals.
So now venders are involved in EHR technology that gives many access to what once was strictly private and confidential.
QUESTION: Why are EHRs a threat to Doctor—Patient Confidentiality?
ANSWER: EHRs are a ball and chain to physicians and patients alike.
The Destruction of Doctor Patient Confidentiality
There are three issues that are key to understand why doctor patient confidentiality is a myth.
- Doctors who use EHR are monitored.
- Patients don’t know who is looking at their medical records.
- Neither a patient nor his or her doctors have any say on protecting confidential medical information.
EMRs are now widely used.
As Mobius.MD’sstates, “This quickly evolving [EHR] industry is still finding solutions to key challenges like interoperability and security, but the inevitable era of EHRs has arrived.”
Here is one glaring example of what happens today with EHRs. In his Newsletter Steve Kirsch wrote an article titled Why doctors aren’t speaking out. Steve wrote about how we are headed for a perfect storm with escalating health needs and a shortage of doctors because of how we treat them. One doctor wrote to Steve and stated,
You ask why doctors are silent. The electronic medical records (EMRs) are a ball and chain to physicians. We are tracked through them. When I wrote a prescription for Ivermectin for a patient, with informed consent (she was vaccinated), I received 5 letters threatening my medical license, my hospital privileges, and my insurance contracts. I would not have received 5 letters if I killed someone in negligence or malpractice. If I have my license pulled, I will no longer be able to help my patients.
I speak to patients on a one-on-one basis, but speaking out would destroy my family. I have children.
Today, EMRs are being used to attack doctors who don’t comply with political practices of keeping patients from getting the treatments, in this case the use of Ivermectin, to prevent the flu.
Never have we seen doctors, nurses, hospitals so afraid to speak out against government medical mandates.
We went to a pulmonologist recently and all of the office and professional staff and patients were required to wear a mask even though there is study after study reporting that masks don’t work to prevent the spread of the Covid flu. When I asked why, as experts in lung issues, they still required wearing masks they were silent.
Why, because, like the doctor above, they are afraid of standing against the “statist medical-government complex.”
In fact the CDC wants people to wear masks to prevent the spread of Monkeypox which is exclusively a sexually transmitted disease passed from gay partner to gay partners and even to women by men who are bisexual.
Every American’s medical information is available to hospitals, insurance companies, government agencies and of course foreign hackers.
EMCs are a national security threat. It is past the time for physicians and patients alike to stand up against the big government bureaucrats.
Why? Your very life may depend up it.
©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.