The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a national, non-partisan professional association of physicians in all specialties founded in 1943, opposes H.R. H.R. 4157, the “Health Information Technology Promotion Act”.
We call for restraint in passing a law that would fast track the creation of a national health information system. The only parties who will benefit by forcing technology on medicine by top-down central planning that actually risks an end to the advancement in information technology will be the government, certain third party payers, lawyers and information technology companies. Patients will definitely not benefit from this type of program because they do not control who has access to their sensitive identifiable medical records in any meaningful way. The so-called HIPAA Privacy Rule, which is in fact a disclosure rule, does not provide any meaningful privacy protections such as those enshrined in Constitutional law and medical ethics. Therefore a national health information system would effectively eliminate any and all patient consent to the release of their records by placing the records online. Patients would have virtually no control over who can sneak-a-peak at their very private and sensitive medical records
Any hasty adoption of a technology by government mandate that is new and still-changing actually threatens to result in higher medical costs by committing medicine to technology that might quickly become obsolete. Congress should allow new technology to evolve and to be voluntarily adopted as it becomes useful.
Therefore, we urge you to oppose H.R. 4157
Jane M. Orient, M.D.