The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 3101, page 81, "Data Collection, Analysis, and Quality," signed into law on Mar. 23, 2010, available at www.thomas.gov, states:
‘‘(1) PRIVACY AND OTHER SAFEGUARDS.—The Secretary shall ensure (through the promulgation of regulations or otherwise) that—
(A) all data collected pursuant to subsection (a) is protected—
(i) under privacy protections that are at least as broad as those that the Secretary applies to other health data under the regulations promulgated under section 264(c) of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–191; 110 Stat. 2033); and
(ii) from all inappropriate internal use by any entity that collects, stores, or receives the data, including use of such data in determinations of eligibility (or continued eligibility) in health plans, and from other inappropriate uses, as defined by the Secretary; and
(B) all appropriate information security safeguards are used in the collection, analysis, and sharing of data collected pursuant to subsection (a).
(2) DATA SHARING.—The Secretary shall establish procedures for sharing data collected pursuant to subsection (a), measures relating to such data, and analyses of such data, with other relevant Federal and State agencies including the agencies, centers, and entities within the Department of Health and Human Services specified in subsection (c)(1)."
Does Obamacare Ensure That Patient Medical Data Will Be Protected?
Edwin Park, JD, Vice President for Health Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in a Dec. 12, 2011 article "Allowing Insurers to Withhold Data on Enrollees' Health Status Could Undermine Key Part of Health Reform," available at www.cbpp.org, stated:
"Insurance companies that want the federal government to let them withhold data on the health status of their enrollees claim that requiring them to provide such data would endanger enrollees' privacy. But their claims do not withstand scrutiny. Medicare already collects, uses, and protects such data for tens of millions of beneficiaries.
In addition, strong privacy protections would apply to risk adjustment data collection under the ACA, and the entities administering risk adjustment would not collect personal identifiers like names, addresses, and Social Security numbers. Policymakers should not weaken risk adjustment by depriving states and the federal government of the data they will need to administer it effectively."
Tim Huelskamp, PhD, US Representative (R-KS), stated in his Sep. 24, 2011 press release "Obamacare HHS Rule Would Give Government Everybody’s Health Records," available at www.huelskamp.house.gov:
"With its extensive rule-making decrees, ObamaCare has been an exercise in creating authority out of thin air at the expense of individuals' rights, freedoms, and liberties.
The ability of the federal government to spy on, review, and approve individuals' private patient-doctor interactions is an excessive power-grab...
No matter what the explanation is, however, this type of data collection is an egregious violation of patient-doctor confidentiality and business privacy. It is like J. Edgar Hoover in a lab coat."
Elizabeth Lee Vliet, MD, Preventive and Climacteric Medicine Specialist and President of International Health Strategies, Ltd., wrote in her Oct. 24, 2011 article "Your Medical Privacy–Another Obamacare Casualty,” available at www.aapsonline.org:
"[Y]our privacy is another casualty of the damage caused by Obamacare's new rules and regulations governing health professionals.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released new federal regulation that requires private health insurance companies to give health records of every person they insure to the government.
Although government jargon in the HHS rules distracts from their real goal, the end result is clear: government bureaucrats would have access to the health records from all private insurance companies—including yours—whether you want them to or not.
Under the new rules, the Federal government will own and control your medical records, without your permission. The government will be your new ‘overlord' controlling your medical information on federal computers in a federal database. You will no longer be able to control who sees your medical information.”