[ExI] medical information (was good bexarotene article)

Henry Rivera hrivera at alumni.virginia.edu
Thu Feb 16 00:02:57 UTC 2012

*On Wed, 15 Feb 2012 03:22:50 -0700, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>

*On Sat, Feb 11, 2012 at 4:26 PM, Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com> wrote:

* > 2012/2/11 spike <spike66 at att.net>
>>There should be a database somewhere, where people can dump medical
information, while stripping out identities, so that we can find this kind
of signal in the noise.? I am surprised something like that doesn?t exist
somewhere.? We could maintain patient privacy while still perhaps filtering
out these oddball correlations...
> Yes, this would be a very good idea. Not that I understand why privacy
> should really be a primary concern for terminal cancer patients...

It isn't. But it is a primary concern for doctors and hospitals due to* *
the ridiculous HIPPA laws here. I have heard that there are some
databases with info stripped out, but I forget the details of who has
it and why.



As someone in the healthcare industry who used to bill private insurance
(before I moved into socialized medicine via Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs)
and had clients with privacy concerns, I am aware of the following medical
databases. This info is particular to the US and Canada, and identifying
info is not stripped out as it’s essential to the function of these
databases. Nevertheless, the data is there and could be scrubbed for data
analysis, I imagine. It’s too bad such massive repositories are only
created by entities motivated to maximize profits for shareholders. Public
health is not of concern to them, IMHO.


From: http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs8-med.htm

The *Medical Information Bureau* (MIB) is a central database of medical
information shared by insurance companies. Approximately 15 million
Americans and Canadians are on file in the MIB's computers. About 600
insurance firms use the services of the MIB primarily to obtain information
about life insurance and individual health insurance policy applicants.When
you apply for life or health insurance as an *individual*, you are likely
to be asked to provide information about your health. Sometimes you are
required to be examined by a doctor and/or to have your blood and urine
tested. If you have medical conditions that insurance companies consider
significant, the insurance company will report that information to the
MIB.The information contained in a typical MIB record is limited to codes
for specific medical conditions and lifestyle choices. Examples include
codes to indicate high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, or depression. A
code can signify participation in high-risk sports such as skydiving. A
file would also include a code to indicate that the individual smokes
cigarettes. The MIB uses 230 such codes.It's important to remember the
following about the MIB:

   - The MIB is *not* subject to HIPAA.MIB files do *not* include the
   totality of one's medical records as held by your health care provider.
   Rather it consists of codes signifying certain health conditions.
   - A decision on whether to insure you is not supposed to be based solely
   on the MIB report.
   - The MIB is a consumer reporting agency subject to the federal Fair
   Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). If you are denied insurance based on an MIB
   report, you are entitled to certain rights under the FCRA, including the
   ability to obtain a free report and the right to have erroneous information
   corrected. See the Federal Trade Commission's website on insurance
   decisions <http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/credit/bus07.shtm>.


IntelliScript and MedPoint are databases that report prescription drug
purchase histories to insurance companies. Like the MIB reports,
IntelliScript and MedPoint reports are used primarily when consumers are
seeking private health, life or disability insurance. Prescription drug
databases can go back as far as five years, detailing drugs used as well as
dosage and refills.

With a history of prescription drugs in hand, insurers may make assumptions
about medical conditions and assess the risk of writing an insurance
policy. Information in an IntelliScript or MedPoint report may prompt an
insurer to deny coverage for certain conditions, increase insurance
premiums, or deny coverage altogether. Such adverse actions by insurance
companies trigger a sequence of consumer rights under the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (FCRA).

Until recently, use of prescription drug databases was unknown to
consumers. Insurers' use of these databases first came to light in 2007
when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Milliman, the owner of the
IntelliScript database, and Ingenix, Inc., owner of the MedPoint database.
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