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Group Tells Public to Oppose Nationwide Health Information Network

With only one week left for the public to comment to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) about potential governance mechanisms for the proposed Nationwide Health Information Network, the Citizens Council for Health Freedom (CCHF) is encouraging all Americans to act in opposition to the nationwide network.

Much of the ONC’s request for information revolves around “conditions for trusted exchange” (CTE) of information. Since the nationwide network is actually a network of smaller networks that all share information with one another, governance is being determined to outline when and how networks and medical facilities can share private medical information with others. CTE ultimately reduces patient privacy and makes it far easier to share private, electronic health information, many times without the patient’s knowledge.

“Like health exchanges themselves, the Nationwide Heath Information Network provides another opportunity for the federal government to first access and then move and store an individual’s private health information in huge, electronic network of databases,” said Twila Brase, the President of the Citizens Council for Health Freedom. “Not only do they reduce individual privacy, but offer new opportunities to access information that will make it much easier to base healthcare decisions on an individual’s age, gender, and overall health as obtained through electronic health records.”

Brase recommends several steps that private citizens can take to help prevent unwanted access to such records. First, opposing the health information networks by providing public comments to the ONC is critical.

“In our May 31, 2012 CCHF Health eNews, we offer some suggested language for those that want to comment in opposition of the implementation of a nationwide health network,” said Brase. “But that said, standard answers are quite often overlooked, so we strongly suggest that people personalize their letters based on their specific opinions or circumstances, in order to have the best chance of impacting the ONC.”

The CCHF also suggests that citizens write or speak to their state legislators to urge that they do not conform state law to the national standards, as in most cases, state law is allowed to increase patient privacy and is not obligated to follow the federal model.

Finally, Brase and CCHF urge people to become educated about what is required when they go to the doctor’s office.

“Most people assume that signing the HIPAA paperwork received in a doctor’s office is mandatory,” continued Brase. “It is not mandatory and what they don’t understand is that signing HIPAA paperwork actually verifies that you know the information will be broadly shared and that you have nothing to say otherwise. By refusing to sign and being prepared to discuss and defend your choice, you are able to help educate doctors, nurses, and other medical administrators about the dangers of HIPAA, which will help us build a case to change state and federal laws.”

The ONC’s deadline for public comment on the proposed nationwide health information network is Thursday, June 14, 2012. To comment, visit the ONC website at http://www.regulations.gov and enter search code HHS-OS-2012-0006. For more information about the ONC’s request for public comment or to get suggested responses in opposition to the nationwide health information network, read the CCHF’s most recent Health eNews online at http://healthenews.cchfreedom.org/newsletter.php/18, where you will find sample responses to the ONC’s request for information.

Twila Brase shares healthcare-related news with the American public in her daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute. Health Freedom Minute airs on the entire American Family Radio Network, with more than 150 stations nationwide, in addition to Bott Radio Network with over 80 stations nationwide. During the daily features, listeners can learn more about the agenda behind proposed healthcare initiatives and policies and what they can do to protect their healthcare choices, rights, and privacy.

Brase, a public health nurse and healthcare freedom advocate, informs listeners of crucial health issues, such as the intrusive wellness and prevention initiatives in Obamacare, patient privacy and the need for informed consent requirements, the dangers of “evidence-based medicine,” and the implications of state and federal healthcare reform.

Health Freedom Minute is sponsored by the Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, a patient-centered national health freedom organization. CCHF supports patient and doctor freedom, medical innovation, and the right of citizens to a confidential patient-doctor relationship.

For more information about Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom or to sign up for the weekly CCHF Health eNews, visit www.cchfreedom.org.

Source: Hamilton Strategies