Your action needed immediately!

DEADLINE – Friday, February 6, 2009.


MN Government planning to STEAL your medical data…to RATION your care!The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) held a public meeting yesterday (1/29) to discuss their timetable for government warehousing and analysis of the medical records data of all Minnesotans for the purpose of centralizing medical decision-making…and limiting your access to care. (see quotes below)

List of your Medical/Insurance/Pharmacy Data that will be sent to Government

They plan to ramrod this plan through…and avoid all public input.

The 2008 health care reform bill negotiated by Governor Pawlenty and House and Senate leadership authorized “expedited rulemaking” therefore stripping citizens of their right to ask for a public hearing before a judge on this plan to seize the private patient data of every citizen.

Health Department Fails to Inform Citizens
Yesterday they had a public meeting, not a public hearing. The Department chose not to even advertise it to the general public. CCHC has found no press release. This is the ONLY public meeting they plan to have for the public to learn about their plans and provide input. Four members of the public, including CCHC, were in the room yesterday along with about 70 industry and government folks. The four individuals in the room asked many pointed questions about cost and privacy and research that clearly frustrated health department officials…and exposed their lack of knowledge on the cost of this intrusive operation. (see below)

Please Act Immediately!
The health department has set a February 6 deadline for hearing from you! CCHC has provided a list of the data that will be sent to the government. Please do the following:

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  • TELL the MN Department of Health what you think of their plan to seize your medical records data and control your doctor’s decisions! Consider sending a carbon copy to the Star Tribune’s lead health science reporter (dhage@startribune.com) and to CCHC(info@cchconline.org)  Tell others to write a letter too. It can be 5 words long or 500.
  • TO SEND YOUR COMMENTS:

    Email:
    will.wilson@state.mn.us

    Mail:
    Minnesota Department of Health
    Division of Health Policy
    65 East Seventh Place, Suite 220
    St. Paul, MN 55164-0882
    Attn: Will Wilson

    Include your name, address, and phone number!

    TOPIC:  MDH Collection and Use of Patient “Encounter Data” (M.S. 62U.04)



    ALSO:


    Real Purpose of Data Collection
    Your medical records are being seized to monitor and control your doctors (see quotes); essentially, to build “scientific”data-based rationale for centralized decision-making…and health care rationing.

    Treatment Control Threatened – QUOTES 1/29/09 meeting
    The stated goals according to comments by today’s presenters included the following:

    • “[We’re] looking at care patterns of a provider”
    • “We want to know about the entire population the provider is serving”
    • “We want to get as complete a picture as possible of a provider’s population”
    • “[Use for] development and reporting of provider peer groups” based on “cost, quality, value, and efficiency”
    • “create a single standard [of “compliance reporting”] that the community agrees on.”
    • “to look at the quality of care provided…resources used to achieve quality…and price of resources used”
    • “Payers are required under statute to use that information” to steer patients toward higher quality, lower cost, more efficient providers [ie. providers that comply with MDH’s idea of “evidence-based medicine.”]
    • “We can look and see if that individual gets the appropriate treatment” [according to the ‘series of protocols’ they have for certain diseases]
    • “We need to count. We need to classify.”
    • “Gather all medical and pharmaceutical data and track members [patients] across plans”
    • Need pharmacy data to monitor “Treatment patterns…Resource consumption…Payment information”

    Command and Control
    Your medical records and insurance data will be used to create what they call, “provider peer groups.” CCHC prefers to call them “compliance report cards” on every doctor, clinic, and hospital. In 2002, MDH tried to get access to everyone’s private medical records through a proposed rule, but the public was outraged, hearings were held, it made front page news, and the proposed rule was withdrawn in 2003. In 2004, MDH tried to get the data through “best practices” legislation, but CCHC petitions forced the legislature to sunset the language in 2006. In 2008, in the final days of session the health care reform law gave them authority to get the data. By law, all insurers are now required to send your private data to MDH, which is using the Maine Health Information Center (MHIC) as their data warehouse contractor.

    Patient Privacy Gone
    Every time you see the doctor, the data will be sent to the Maine data warehouse. Every medication you take will be reported to Maine. Every diagnosis, every treatment will be cataloged. Every medical charge, every bill you pay will be reported. Your insurance company will have to regularly send a list of all their enrollees to Maine. The data will be released to MHIC under the loosest federal definition of “de-identified.” The name of every doctor and the encrypted name of every patient will be sent with every data submission. This “de-identification” process will not likely prevent re-identification of you if MDH wishes to do so.

    Clueless on Cost
    When asked about cost during the Q&A session, MDH officials did not know the following:

    • The cost of the 27 month contract with MHIC [they said they’d send it to CCHC]
    • The cost of the health department’s administration of the program [they said they’d send it]
    • Whether the data collection will save the state any money in health care spending
    • How much reporting will cost the entities required to report. They said they didn’t even try.
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