Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Privacy Betrayed

There was a time when our medical information was considered private with very few exceptions.

Remember HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act)? Everywhere we went we signed reams of paper detailing how our personal and medical information was manipulated, distributed, or NOT. Of course, there were loopholes, but a lot of trees bit the dust, for all those reams of paper.

Aug 9th in The New York Times, a violation of patient trust is transpiring in the profession I once loved, respected and practiced ethically, to the very best of my ability.

To summarize the link below, your personal medical profile as well as pharmaceutical useage is being sold, not shared, SOLD, by diverse sources, like pharmacy chains and mining database companies, for profit. Some have protested that information like names, addresses, social security numbers, etc. are redacted, but apparently not.


I noticed one very large chain which has pharmacies within its walls was not among those mentioned.

When I first entered the pharmacy profession, the prescription was the property of the patient for whom it was written. However, federal and state laws have clouded that definition and methods by which it can be transferred to another pharmacy of the patient's choosing. Since laws vary from state to state, it is impossible for a understandable summary to be written in a blog.

Please read the article and if you suspect your information has been compromised, try a little detective work. You still do have rights.

Within the anticipated changes in healthcare proposed by our government, is computerized medical records which are transportable between medical services and facilities. HIPPA will essentially be null and void.


Amber Star said...

I'm not really clear about that whole HIPPA thing. I sign the release of information thing and when I had my yearly physical I thought it would be wise to get copies of the tests the rheumatologist had just done faxed over to my doctor so tests might not be repeated. Didn't happen in a form that would be readable by anyone, including my doctor. I tried to read it and gave up and asked him...he just said nope he couldn't read it either. I feel it is such a waste for docs to not share information and my test results.

Sweetie Pie said...

Wow! Thanks for posting the link to the article and for bringing this important issue to our attention. CVS, a chain mentioned in the article, is my pharmacy out here in Virginia. Now, I'm curious...

I appreciate the information!