Stimulus Bill Permits Sale of Health Records

Posted: Feb 17, 2009 7:04 AM
Kudos to reporter Fred Lucas for this story.

He's found five pages of exceptions to a prohibition in the stimulus bill to allow the sale of government controlled health records. That's right. Not only will HHS officials store them and read them for whatever purpose they may have, they will be able to SELL your personal medical information as well.

This is from Lucas's story:
Though the legislation says there is a “prohibition on sale of electronic health records or protected health information,” there are five pages of exceptions to the prohibition that include research, treatment of an individual, or a decision by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to wave the prohibition. (See Legislation, PDF pages 391-395.)
One exception listed in the legislation is if, “The purpose of the exchange is for public health activities.” Another exception is apparently to ensure the data – if sold – are not for commercial reasons, saying, “The purpose of the exchange is for research and the price charged reflects costs of preparation and transmittal of the data for such purpose.”
Another exception is rather broad saying, “The purpose of the exchange is otherwise determined by the secretary in regulations to be similarly necessary and appropriate” in accordance with the other exceptions.