OT: Medical Privacy in Danger! Act Now!

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Dawn Richardson wrote: URGENT: TAKE ACTION NOW BEFORE FEBRUARY 17th PROBLEM: Big Brother Wants Your Medical Records! SOLUTION: If you care about privacy and want to keep your private identifiable intimate medical details out of the hands of the government, you need to immediately submit written comments in opposition to these proposed federal regulations which dangerously grant federal, state, and local government employees access to your medical records without your consent for purposes over which you have no control! SPECIFIC ACTIONS: A) Immediately forward this alert to anyone concerned about medical privacy B) Write a letter in opposition to the proposed regulations of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) see sample below C) Send the letter to arrive on or before February 17th to the following: 1) HHS By mail: Send original and 3 copies to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation Attention: Privacy-P Room G-322A, Hubert H. Humphrey Building 200 Independence Ave. SW Washington, D.C. 20201 or Online: Link to http://aspe.hhs.gov/admnsimp/ Select option #3 - To Submit Comments 2) Your One U.S. Congressional Representative http://www.house.gov/writerep/ (lookup capability too) or The Honorable _________ U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 3) Your Two U.S. Senators Senate (lookup capability too) or The Honorable _________ U.S. Senate Washington, DC 20510 D) Immediately call the offices of your U.S. Representative and Senators, verbally express you concerns, and ask them to consider submitting comments to HHS before the February 17th deadline. (Capitol Switchboard 202-225-3121)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: If you would like to access and review the proposed rule online, link to LINK, scroll down on that site and select #2 "To Read or Download Only". Scroll down to the section entitled "Read NPRM, by Section" and select a section by clicking on the section title. You may want to pay particular attention to these sections: Introduction to Uses and Disclosures Without Individual Authorization Uses and Disclosures for Public Health Activities Use and Disclosure for Health Oversight Activities Disclosure for Law Enforcement Uses and Disclosures for Governmental Health Data Systems Disclosure of Directory Information Disclosure for Banking and Payment Processes Uses and Disclosures for Research Uses and Disclosures in Emergency Circumstances If you would like to review detailed analysis and comments by others opposing the rule, see the following: Association of American Physicians and Surgeons LINK Institute for Health Freedom LINK Representative Ron Paul's Privacy Forum LINK Sincerely, Dawn Richardson PROVE(Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education) P.O. Box 1071 Cedar Park, TX 78630-1071 (512) 918-8760 prove@vaccineinfo.net (email) http://vaccineinfo.net (web site) ------------------------- SAMPLE LETTER: Note: When mailing to HHS, you must send an ORIGINAL and THREE(3) COPIES to arrive on or before February 17, 2000. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation Attention: Privacy-P Room G-322A, Hubert H. Humphrey Building 200 Independence Ave. SW Washington, D.C. 20201 Dear Assistant Secretary: This letter is in response to the proposed regulations on patient privacy published in the Federal Register on November 3, 1999. I am writing as an individual health care consumer who is strongly opposed to the disclosure of my personal medical records without my consent. I do not want to have my intimate medical details released to persons I do not know, for purposes I cannot predict, which may be contrary to my best interests, simply because HHS employees think that the public will somehow benefit. These regulations would grant federal, state, and local government health employees broad unrestricted access and control of my identifiable private medical information without my consent for anything that can be linked to the HHS-defined open-ended "national priority purposes" of research, public health, government health data systems, law enforcement and oversight of the health care system. My medical records are my private property and access to them should be controlled solely by a private contract between me and my health care provider, not the federal government. I am strongly opposed to having my identifiable personal health information collected and stored in federal databases for any reason and being used for medical research without my consent. Additionally, these regulations significantly undermine the trust I will have in disclosing information to my health care provider especially since everything contained in my record can be released whenever the government asks for it. That will compromise the quality of my care and ultimately the quality of my health. Neither the statute nor the Constitution gives HHS the authority to grant the government access and control of my medical records, especially without my consent. Managing my medical records is an inappropriate function of government. I respectfully request that HHS withdraw these proposed regulations, rewrite them to respect my privacy rights and comply with the statute and the Constitution, and then resubmit them for another public comment period. Sincerely, CC: The Honorable ___, U.S. House of Representatives The Honorable ___, U.S. Senate The Honorable ___, U.S. Senate --------------- Another place to respond... Update on Medical Records Privacy Thanks to you, our new call for comments on the Presidents medical records privacy is a huge success! Since launching the new feature five days ago, more than 6,000 people have submitted comments - and more continue to pour in. The volume has actually overwhelmed the computer server for the Department of Health and Human Services website on several occasions. To help those who have problems utilizing the HHS comments area, we have created a workaround option to allow the public to submit comments even when the HHS server is down. For those of you who have not yet submitted comments on any of the three areas that are in need of strengthening, you have just 10 more days! The full ACLU medical privacy campaign can be found at: LINK

-- Sheri (wncy2k@nccn.net), February 09, 2000

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