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Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto

January 15, 2005

URGENT! COMMENTS ON PROPOSED NATIONAL HEALTH INFORMATION NETWORK DUE JAN. 18

 

The proposed National Health Information Network (NHIC)–the technologic panacea for medical errors, increasing costs, and even bioterrorism–would dramatically affect medical practice, and obliterate patients’ right to privacy.

 

If you disapprove of the federal government’s dictating how your clinical records must be kept–or if you don’t want your medical records disseminated and used without your permission, you need to submit comments.

 

Send comments by e-mail to: [email protected], with the subject line: “NHIN RFI Responses.”

 

The postal address is:

                National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

                Department of Health and Human Services

                Attn: NHIN RFI Responses

                Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Room 517D

200 Independence Ave. SW

Washington, D.C. 20201

 

Comments must be received by close of business on January 18, so you must send them by e-mail. (Mail to the District of Columbia may be significantly delayed.)

 

Key points made by AAPS in its comments, which are posted on our website, include the following:

 

1.        The proposed NHIN will impede medical care.

2.        Records in the NHIN will not be reliable.

3.        The benefits of the NHIN are hypothetical and unproved.

4.        All patients will be forced to sacrifice confidentiality.

 

The right way for electronic medical records to develop is in the free market. The federal government should not try to impose a uniform, one-size-fits-nobody format on all specialties and practices. Medical information should not be entered into an NHIN without informed consent.

 

It is very important for the federal government to know that physicians and other citizens are very concerned about their loss of privacy, and even of the right to know where their medical information is stored or how it is used.

 

Practicing clinicians need to correct technocrats’ assumptions about the miraculous effect of electronic medical records on costs and quality. If you have personal experience, be sure to include it in your comments.

 

Comments need not be lengthy or elaborate. The number of commenters is important. Include your qualifications, specific facts, cost estimates, practical or ethical concerns, and areas that require testing and research.

 

Additional information:

 

Read the Federal Register notice

 

Commentary, especially about privacy, from the Institute for Health Freedom. www.forhealthfreedom.org/Publications/Privacy/RecordsNetwork.html

 

Read  the Comments submitted by AAPS