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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:23 PM
Original message
And You Thought a Prescription Was Private
And You Thought a Prescription Was Private

By MILT FREUDENHEIM
Published: August 8, 2009

snip//

Marketers got hold of her name, and she found coupons and samples in her mail that shadowed the growth of an imaginary child at first, for Pampers and baby formula, then for discounts on family photos, and all the way through the years to gifts suitable for an elementary school graduate.

I had three different in vitro procedures, said Ms. Krinsk, now 55, a former telecommunications executive who lives with her husband in San Diego. To just go to the mailbox and get that stuff, time after time after time, it was just awful.

Like many other people, Ms. Krinsk thought that her prescription information was private. But in fact, prescriptions, and all the information on them including not only the name and dosage of the drug and the name and address of the doctor, but also the patients address and Social Security number are a commodity bought and sold in a murky marketplace, often without the patients knowledge or permission.

That may change if some little-noted protections from the Obama administration are strictly enforced. The federal stimulus law enacted in February prohibits in most cases the sale of personal health information, with a few exceptions for research and public health measures like tracking flu epidemics. It also tightens rules for telling patients when hackers or health care workers have stolen their Social Security numbers or medical information, as happened to Britney Spears, Maria Shriver and Farrah Fawcett before she died in June.

The new rules will plug some gaping holes in our federal health privacy laws, said Deven McGraw, a health privacy expert at the nonprofit Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington. For the first time, pharmacy benefit managers that handle most prescriptions and banks and contractors that process millions of medical claims will be held accountable for complying with federal privacy and security rules.

more...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/business/09privacy.ht...
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. Privacy appears to be a thing of the past....The only thing that matters is
how to increase the bottom line.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
2. But how's my doctor going to get a kickback from drug companies?
See, drug companies need to know what doctors have been prescribing. That way top performers can be rewarded.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. They don't need to know who the doctors are prescribing it to
A simple count of prescriptions, plus maybe some generic information about the people receiving the prescriptions, might be good. They don't need to know that a prescription for Cialis was written to "Elwood Blues, 1060 West Addison, Chicago, IL" when "caucasian male, age 32" would do just as well.

Larry Flynt could shut this shit down in a heartbeat by purchasing lists of vasectomy patients and men who have Viagra or Cialis prescriptions and sending them free sex toys and copies of Hustler. "Since you're having more sex now..." When Congress calls him up, all he need do is tell them he's just doing what the pharmaceutical companies have been doing for years.
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 05:36 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. Nice suggestion.
You are clearly a very creative person. Here's hoping you are able to put your talents to good use.
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. We were amazed at the formula and diaper junk mail that appeared
after our daughter was born. Came out of nowhere. Tons of it. :(
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. My daughter got it too...
but her twin daughters died shortly after birth. She hated to go to the mailbox.
The crap came for months.
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paulsby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 03:02 AM
Response to Original message
6. of course they are NOT private
i've accessed script info numerous times w/ o warrants during investigations. this is certainly not news. it should be common knowledge if people would do the research.
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 04:38 AM
Response to Original message
7. K&R. Get to know your fascism, kiddies. nt
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 05:34 AM by BlueIris
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bridgit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 05:14 AM
Response to Original message
8. Neh, people are living in LaLa Land if they think a guy that can't write writes a script...
that needs to de deciphered by another person with a whole other degree inside their own brick & mortar system; that hands that script to another that inputs it into an accessible mainframe that matrix's (is that a word :^/) dr.-person-malady-usage-doseage-YTD/volume-vendor-reorder-shipment-ETA-tracking-delivery...

...

...

There's just too many points of contact. Peninsulas at the very best no man nor woman nor child is an island...we are all interconnected without having to go into as to whether 'a sale' is as good as 'a nod' to a shared horse. The econ is rebooting into a world where what was is being refurbished into some things that will look exactly the same way, and others will not and some of those will be shed layers of only what we thought privacy really was = a specious sense of false security
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