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Forbes Magazine: New Medical Rules Violate Privacy

Tuesday, 29 May 2001 12:00 AM

The Forbes article confirms earlier reports on NewsMax.com that the new regulations, said to protect the privacy of personal medical records, actually allows for a massive government invasion of patient privacy.

The May 28 edition of the respected magazine carries the hard-hitting exposé on the new regulations first issued by Bill Clinton during last year's Christmas holiday, and adopted by President Bush and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson in early April.

Forbes reports that Bush "rubberstamped" the Clinton medical privacy regulations without adequate review.

"It actually weakens individuals' ability to restrict access to their medical records," Forbes quotes Sue A. Belvins of the Washington-based Institute for Health Freedom.

The magazine notes that while the new regulations make it look like government is protecting patient privacy and personal medical records, they actually do the opposite and allow for government snooping of your personal medical records.

Forbes notes that under the new regulations:

Under the new medical privacy rules, all Americans will be assigned a health identification number – officially termed a UPI or Unique Patient Identifier. That number will accompany individuals from birth to death, and will track all medical records, including unique DNA code and psychiatric records.

The new regulations require all medical organizations to cease relying on paper records and to digitize all medical records for easy computer access.

These rules, some of which were first part of Hillary Clinton's health care proposals, were part of a last-minute wave of new regulations proposed by Clinton before he left office.

Noting that the Clinton administration had violated federal procedure by not allowing for a proper review period, the new secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson, said in early April he would delay indefinitely the implementation of the rules.

But his decision was overridden by President Bush, who ordered Thompson to immediately implement the new rules.

While the health industry is angry at the cost of the new rules, particularly the effort to force all records to be digitized, others are big winners.

The insurance industry has pushed for the new regulations, to reduce fraud by gaining access to medical records. Marketing and drug companies will also have unprecedented access to medical records and be able to market individuals' medications based on their health conditions.

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The Forbes article confirms earlier reports on NewsMax.com that the new regulations, said to protect the privacy of personal medical records, actually allows for a massive government invasion of patient privacy. The May 28 edition of the respected magazine carries the...
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2001-00-29
Tuesday, 29 May 2001 12:00 AM
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