Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Big Brother's eyes getting bigger

…Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post (Aug 4, 2008), writes that the behemoth insurance companies no longer wait for you to reveal your medical history or give them permission to access it—now they just go to a free “health report” on you from commercial databases.

…No muss, no fuss, and for you, probably no health insurance.

…They see what you get from the pharmacy, how much and how often. They check all the labs you have had done.

…No more waiting for inefficient doc’s offices to rat you out—they just push a button.

…They can decide if you get insurance in a day.

…Of course, this is also an example of data being used for an unintended purpose. The ever-humorous HIPAA does not apply to them.

…Pharmacy benefit managers for health insurance companies update pharm records daily. They can find out you just picked up that expensive cancer drug yesterday.

…You may be using a drug for one purpose and be denied because they think it’s for another purpose.

…Buying high dose cholesterol pills? You are a horrible risk. No way.

…As HA loves to say, we are just pawns on the board.

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