1601 N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9
Tucson, AZ 85716-3450
Phone: (800) 635-1196
Hotline: (800) 419-4777
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto


Physicians: Please post this notice in your office and make copies for your patients.
Both patients and physicians should submit comments to the address below!

HCFA is trying to force 9,000 home health agencies to collect a huge amount of intrusive data on ALL patients receiving home health services (whether funded by the government or not)-without the patient's consent. If they get away with this, the program will undoubtedly expand further.

The Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) consists of 12 pages of fine print, asking about things such as: use of profane language; sexual references; feelings of depression or inadequacy; bathroom performance (53 boxes about that!); family support; living arrangements; and financial status.

So much outrage has resulted from this form that HCFA may stop its implementation: IF it receives enough comments. Otherwise, they plan to begin implementation July 28, 1999.

Mail your comments immediately to: Director, Division of Data Liaison and Distribution, Health Care Financing Administration, Room N2-04-27, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850. Refer in the heading of your letter to: DOCID: fr18jn99-121, Notice of new system of records.

Talking points:

  • OASIS requires patients to choose between medical care and privacy. They are not allowed to have both. If patients refuse to answer questions, the home health nurse or therapist is required to fill in the blanks anyway, based on her own judgment.
  • OASIS creates a personal dossier accessible to many government agencies, including psychological, behavioral, medical, relational, and educational data. Eventually, it will probably include financial data. Information includes the Social Security number, although it is not lawful for an agency to ask for this without congressional approval.
  • Although the agency refers to "nonidentifiable" information, it is very likely that individuals could be identified through "implicit deduction."
  • Patients should not be used as research subjects without their consent. Moreover, the elimination of privacy impedes medical care and invalidates research because patients withhold information.

For more information, see "OASIS" (Comments on Regulations department) and the May, 1999, issue of AAPS News, at www.aapsonline.org, also available by FAX on request from (800)419-4777.

AN INVITATION TO PATIENTS: If you wish to become an affiliate member of AAPS and receive future alerts and a copy of the AAPS Rx for Patient Power Handbook, return this form to 1601 N. Tucson Blvd # 9, Tucson, AZ 85716, or FAX (520)325-4230:

Name:____________________________ e-mail address_____________________________

Address:______________________________________________ FAX number:_____________________