Health Care Data Breaches Put the Private Medical Information of Millions of Americans in Jeopardy
Private Data Compromised for Another 1.4 Million Patients Last Week; New Book ‘Big Brother in the Exam Room’ From Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom Highlights Negative Impact of Electronic Health Records
PAUL, Minn.—Well over 1 million patients are the latest victims of a huge health care data breach. Just last week, UnityPoint Health notified 1.4 million patients that their records may have been breached when its business system was compromised by a phishing attack, reported Healthcare IT News.
It was the second breach for the health system this year, and the biggest U.S. health data breach of 2018.
But are breaches like these the problem—or a symptom of a much bigger problem?
In an industry where so much private patient information and medical data is electronic, all patients are at risk, says Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF). And the root of the problem begins to take shape with the electronic health record (EHR).
CCHF has released a new, groundbreaking book called “Big Brother in the Exam Room: The Dangerous Truth About Electronic Health Records” that exposes how and why Congress forced doctors and hospitals to install a data-collecting, command-and-control surveillance system in the exam room. This computerized system connected through cyberspace with other EHRs creates an environment that is ripe for hacking and data breaches.
Written by CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase, RN, PHN, and published by Beaver’s Pond Press, “Big Brother in the Exam Room” also includes the negative impact of EHRs on privacy, personalized care, costs, patient safety and more, according to doctors and data from more than 125 studies.
“The electronic health record is not what people think it is,” Brase said. “It’s a command-and-control surveillance system foisted on American patients and doctors without their consent, and the dangers that have arisen from this distracting and unworkable technology are mounting daily. Outsiders not only use the government-imposed EHR to take control of treatment decisions, outsiders are also maliciously accessing patient data for their own gain.
“Unfortunately, last week’s data breach of 1.4 million patients was not the first, nor will it be the last,” Brase added. “A federal government website called the ‘Wall of Shame’ lists data breaches affecting 500 patients or more. The reporting and recording began in 2009, the year Congress mandated electronic medical records. Is this a coincidence? Doubtful. While breaches affecting fewer than 500 patients don’t have to be reported and are not listed on the website, the federal government has received nearly 345,000 reports of smaller breaches and nearly 2,300 reports of larger breaches for a total of more than 347,000 breaches affecting about 178 million individuals. Patients are in danger every day because of the intrusive, unsafe and unsecure EHR.”
In “Big Brother in the Exam Room,” Brase reports that in 2009, Congress mandated the use of government-certified EHRs. Certified EHR technology (CEHRT) means the EHR is built not to provide patient care but to do what the government wants it to do: government reporting, patient and doctor profiling, data analytics, health services research, linking to a national medical-records system, population health, standardized treatment protocols, compliance tracking and much more.
For more information about CCHF, visit www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page or its Twitter feed @CCHFreedom. Read more about “Big Brother in the Exam Room” here, and view the media page for CCHF here. For more about CCHF’s free-market, cash-based care initiative, The Wedge of Health Freedom, visit www.JointheWedge.com, The Wedge Facebook page or follow The Wedge on Twitter @wedgeoffreedom.