Updates on health care and government overreach

This post is a meta-post about health care. This is information that helps us understand social and political energies shaping the direction of our daily experiences with health care, and surveillance. I hope you enjoy!

SDOH – Federal Plan to Use Health Care to Centralize America’s Economy

Social determinants of health (SDOH) have begun being included throughout health policy legislation. Incorporating SDOH into health care will limit patient and physician freedom. Doctors will be at risk of lawsuits for not following protocols and providing the same treatment from patient to patient – despite the unique needs of every patient.

Read more at Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom

CCHF has asked Congress to request The Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC) publicize their report on creating a Unique Patient Identifier

ONC recently submitted to the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee a report on their recommendation regarding funding a Unique Patient Identifier. However, they have not made this report public. CCHF has written to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Labor-HHS subcommittee, and the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, requesting that the report be made public. 

Medicare Race and Ethnicity Data Inaccurate—Hinders Attempt to Centralize Economy

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report showing inaccuracies in Medicare’s data on race and ethnicity. Race and ethnicity data currently originate from the Social Security Administration, and then Medicare applies an algorithm to create its data. However, these data disagreed with self-reported race and ethnicity. For example, 28% of the beneficiaries identified as Hispanic in the data did not self-identify as Hispanic. Similarly, 46% of Medicare beneficiaries identified in the data as Indian or Alaska Native did not self-identify as such. The OIG wrote, “Data that are not accurate limit the ability to assess health disparities.”

NOTE: The ultimate goal of the “health equity” and “health disparities” agenda is to use claims of racism to centralize the economy or, as the Deloitte’ Health Equity Center says, to create a world in which “all people have the fair and just opportunity to achieve their full potential in every aspect of their health and well-being.”

Learn more at Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom: www.CCHFreedom.org.

HMO Architect Has Died — What He Did to Socialize Medicine in America

Dr. Paul Ellwood, MD, died in June at the age of 95. He’s been called “the father of the HMO.” These American-made HMOs, now known as “health plans” are the corporate version of socialized medicine.

In 2001, article, “Blame Congress for HMOs” was published. It’s as relevant today as it was then. HMOs and health plans are officially called “prepaid health plans” or unofficially “managed care.” Like socialized medicine:

  • Care and coverage are melded together (conflict of interest)
  • Care and coverage are prepaid (taxes)
  • Doctors are under control of outsiders (health officials)
  • Medical treatment choices are limited (treatment protocols)

Ellwood’s HMOs were the foundation of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s proposed Health Security Act of 1993, and his health plans are the foundation of Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Actof 2010 (ACA), which eliminated catastrophic (real) medical insurance and required all Americans to have a “qualified health plan,” with few exceptions.

In 1970, Ellwood created a new name for the Kaiser Permanente “prepaid health plan.” He coined the term Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO. Abandoning the fee-for-service payments of the free market, he wanted physicians to be paid for the number of patients they saw (production), not for their care or their procedures. In other words, not for their skills, their intellect, their critical thinking skills, or their excellence. With the help of President Richard Nixon (R) and bill sponsor U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), the HMO Act became law in 1973.

Ellwood achieved his goal of overhauling health care in America—but not the way he wanted it. He once said, “The whole HMO thing was perverted by the desire for maximizing profits.” He wanted market forces, not the government-regulated, for-profit health plans of today. He wanted “consumer choices based on quality first and then, secondarily, price.” That’s not what happened. Perhaps Dr. Ellwood thought he could play with fire—implementing his vision by government force—and not get burned. He was wrong.

Ellwood’s HMO campaign harmed patients and doctors. Empowered by the HMO Act of 1973 and enriched by the ACA, health care has been consolidated into powerful, all-controlling, corporate structures that control physicians and put patients second, or third, or fourth. Patients are essential to keep the system in place—but they’re no longer the priority.

Today, the mission of medicine has been taken over by the business of health care.

As care and coverage merge, conflicts of interest with patients are created. Health plans (coverage) are buying hospitals and physician practices (care), and hospitals are purchasing health plans. Today, nearly 70% of physicians are employees. Treatment decisions are controlled by corporate computers (electronic health records), and doctors spend about 50% of their time reporting data to their overseers just to get paid. Highly skilled professionals, physicians have become “data clerks.”

Dr. Ellwood once said, “To be an independent practitioner was never a goal.” As a result, independent physicians are rare today—but many can be found in our Wedge of Health Freedom, a free online directory of cash-based practices.

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF) is focused on building a parallel system – a New Framework for Health Freedom that puts the cash and the control back into the hands of patients.

If this interests you, find more information at http://www.CHFreedom.org. This organization has many accomplishments and continues to work toward overhauling the health care system.

Another Reminder of How HIPAA Does Not Protect Private Health Data

recent Washington Post article investigated software designed for use by doctors’ offices to streamline check-in and other data collection. While the software company isn’t selling data to pharmaceutical companies, it uses data mined from the patients’ medical records to target them with ads on its own system without passing the information to others. While you can opt-out, you might not see this option prominently in the system. This software company is not a “covered entity” under HIPAA; instead, it is a “business associate” of your provider, and automatically allowed to process your data for the purposes of assisting your doctor.

“He who holds the data, makes the rules”

You have a right to refuse to sign HIPAA forms, including the statement acknowledging your receipt of the Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP). You have the right to refuse to sign the form even after they write “Refused” on it. The Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom is the authority on this issue and we recommend that you full read their page about HIPAA harms.

Why refuse HIPAA

Those who want to profit from the use of our health data have led us to believe that HIPAA protects us and our data. HIPAA does not protect data, it allows doctors and hospitals to SHARE health data with millions of business and government entities who profit from analyzing the data.

We are at the mercy of the government and big business as a result of HIPAA. If they are successful in the future in combining our health data with REAL ID, and with a unique patient identifier, we will lose more freedom. We must repeal HIPAA as well as REAL ID in Minnesota, and reject all advances regarding the implementation of a national unique patient identifier number. Ron Paul, and then Rand Paul have been holding the line against this for many years.

If you refuse to sign, does it help?

Yes, and no. “Refusing to sign or choosing to sign provides you with no privacy protection to the 2.2 million entities given access to your data through HIPAA (1996) and HITECH (2009).” – CCHF 

“Refusing to sign the acknowledgement does not prevent a provider or plan from using or disclosing health information as HIPAA permits.”

United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

“Signing HIPAA can be used against you if you ever declare that your privacy rights have been violated. If you sign, clinics or hospitals can use your signature to argue that you knew your private information could be shared by law without your consent.” – CCHF

Want proof that you have the right to refuse?

Proof #1:  The Federal HIPAA Rule only requires a provider to make a “good faith effort” to obtain the patient’s signature on the HIPAA form – 45 CFR 164.520(c)(2)(ii).

Proof #2: The federal government (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) states that you have a right to refuse: “If you refuse to sign the acknowledgement, the provider must keep a record of this fact.

Proof #3: HHS gives directions to facilities on how to respond when a patient refuses to sign HIPAA forms.

Have you been bullied or denied care for refusing hiPAA?

Some health care providers are ignorant that you have the right to refuse to sign HIPAA, and they may deny you care if you don’t sign. If they do so, they are in violation of your HIPAA rights. If you are denied service, or are bullied, share your story.

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