Friday, June 27, 2008

Personal Health Records and the Markle Foundation


Quote of the day:
Nothing is as simple as we hope it will be. - Jim Horning

 

Today I need to get down to more serious issues. I inject humor from time to time to maintain equilibrium.  I have had some commentary that my mind is "blown".  That may or may not be true......Nevertheless, here we go.

Medinnovation has a very comprehensive analysis of what and where medicine has gone and will go further, if the current entrenched medical power complex starts thinking out of the box.

Personal Health Records have been promoted in the past couple of years as a means of maintaining personal and family medical history for future provider visits.  The issue of privacy and confidentiality are probably a bigger issue here than in institutional settings.  Some people will want the personal security of using a hand carried  memory stick in one form another to carry in to their doctor's office. 

Others will want to rely on one they have available from their employer. 

HIPAA rules  may or may not apply to these PHRs.  The Markle Foundation has developed a 'Common Framework for Networked Personal Health Information', and how it would apply to a PHR, and a comprehensive view of their vision is at Connecting Consumers.

This is a good thing provided it is enforceable. A number of large organizations are endorsing it, and they can be found in the 'Common Framework'

However Matthew Holt   makes some cautionary remarks about this whole area of regulation as to how it applies to PHRs.

"There is, though, one tricky problem regarding disclosure of health information, and that is of course the impact it has on your wealth. So I asked the tricky question. They have AHIP, Aetna and BCBS Association (and Dossia) on their list of endorsers. They also have a separate policy about Discrimination and Compelled Disclosures (PDF is here). But as I asked, given that insurers (and some employers) already do discriminate based on health history, and thereby greatly impact people's wealth and their own of course, what’s the point in them saying that they won’t go fishing in the PHR. The answer is in the policy document (and to be fair it’s all they can say.)"

Well, my head is beginning to hurt, again.

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