New federal regulations issued this week stipulate that the electronic health records -- that all Americans are supposed to have by 2014 under the terms of the stimulus law that President Barack Obama signed last year -- must record not only the traditional measures of height and weight, but also the Body Mass Index: a measure of obesity....
The law also requires that these electronic health records be available -- with appropriate security measures -- on a national exchange.
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.
In a follow-up article reported by CNSNews.com on July 16, it turns out that including our Body Mass Index in the new federal database is just the tip of the iceberg. Actually, the HHS news release concerning the new Electronic Health Records (EHRs) database that was issued on July 13 under the title, "Secretary Sebelius Announces Final Rules To Support ‘Meaningful Use’ of Electronic Health Records," reveals that virtually the entire medical record of every American will be required to be included in the database. According to the CNSNews.com article:
[Complete EHRs must include] an active medications list, vital signs, Body Mass Index (BMI) score, smoking status, comparative effectiveness data, lab test results, and insurance status. They must also record race, gender, and preferred language of patients, as well as send reminders to patients about follow-up visits and at-home care where applicable.
A complete EHR must also include a list of all past health problems, their causes, and the procedures used to treat or cure them.
So there you have it. The "final rules" for the EHR federal database require that pretty much the complete medical record of every American must be available on the database by 2014. There will be penalties for doctors and hospitals that don't comply.
Talk about invasion of privacy! Huge numbers of Americans fiercely oppose the automatic inclusion of their private medical records in this federal database.
However there is good news. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a lonely fighter in Congress to protect privacy rights for many years, has already introduced a bill to protect the privacy of our health records, H.R. 2630, the "Protect Patients and Physicians Privacy Act." A key provision of this bill is Section 2 PATIENT RIGHT TO OPT OUT OF ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS SYSTEM, which states:
All individuals shall have the ability to opt out of any Federally mandated, created, or funded electronic system for maintaining health care information.
Passage of H.R. 2630 would help to protect the privacy of our medical records.
Instead of just standing by and watching our freedoms being eroded on a daily basis by Congress and the Obama administration, let's rise up to protect the privacy of our medical records now! Contact your representative and senators by phone, visits, and email and demand that they help pass H.R. 2630 BEFORE they adjourn for the November elections.
Click here for a convenient way to send a prewritten, editable email in support of H.R. 2630 and the privacy of your medical records to your rep and senators.