Personal Health Records Latest Battle in Assault on Medical Privacy
Patient Privacy Rights is advising members NOT to sign up for personal health records (PHRs). PHRs are simply the latest battlefront to invade medical privacy.
Despite the promise of great convenience, PHRs have no legal or ethical protections for the sensitive health information patients, insurers, or employers place in them.
Today, insurers and employers are rapidly pressing the public to use PHRs in databanks that the public does NOT own or control. Wal-Mart, Intel, and other major employers formed Dossia to bank employees' PHRs.
The major insurers are also setting up PHR databanks they will pre-populate with enrollees' health and claims data (and enrollees may not be able to opt-out of these data banks). Even banks and financial institutions are rushing to get into the business of holding your PHR along with your money. And the public trusts none of them.
So, before signing up for a PHR, Patient Privacy Rights urges all citizens to read this January 5, 2007 review commissioned by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONCHIT). It confirms Patient Privacy Rights' cautionary statements against PHRs.