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An honest source for information about policies that affect your freedom to choose your health care treatments and providers and to maintain your health privacy—including genetic privacy.
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Health Privacy

Should Congress or a Federal “Entity” Establish Your Privacy Rights?
Health-Privacy Breaches Challenged in State Courts, Feds Continue to Receive Complaints
Forgo Government Care and Seek Private Treatment for Sensitive Issues, Says Concerned Foreign Service Officers
Will Bill Gates Help Pave the Way to True Health-Privacy Rights?
Americans Are Concerned about Privacy of Electronic Records, Survey Finds
Is Insurers’ Plan to Give Patients Personal Health Records a “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”?
HHS Asks for Comments on Plans for Electronic Health Records and Genomic Medicine: Submit Comments by February 5!
What Every Worker Should Know about Electronic Medical Records
Massachusetts Universal Health Insurance Raises Questions about Patient Privacy
Massachusetts Blue Cross Blue Shield to Collect Mental Health Information
Health Privacy Roundup
Patient Privacy Group Denounces Blue Cross Blue Shield Plan to Disclose De-identified Data of 79 Million Enrollees
Congress Considers Important Health Privacy Legislation: Share Your Views
Federal Government Funds Random Home Health Checkups
Congress Set to Override State Medical-Privacy Rights
Legislation Introduced to Digitize Federal Employee Health Records
How Massachusetts’s Health Plan Affects Privacy and Liberty
Online Analysis of the Massachusetts Health Plan
The Massachusetts Health-Insurance Bill Mandates New Taxes and Privacy Invasions
What Every American Should Know about the Massachusetts Mandatory Health-Insurance Legislation
Body Snatching? Why We Need Informed Consent and True Health Privacy Rights
$5.5 Billion in 2007 Budget for Building a “Federal Health Architecture”
Congress to Gut State Medical-Privacy Laws?
New York City Begins Tracking and Monitoring Diabetics
Congress Could Vote Soon on a Bill that Abolishes State Health-Privacy Rights: Act Now to Voice Your Own Opinion about H.R. 4157.
Survey Shows Most Americans Are Concerned about Health Privacy
“Wired for Health Care Quality Act” Deeply Flawed
Appeals Court Affirms Weak Federal Privacy Rule, But Opens Door to Stronger State Privacy Laws
Is Big Brother Planning to Tag and Track Prescription Drugs Electronically?
Strong Supporter of EMRs Considers Presidential Run
Electronic Medical Records (EMRs): Trick or a Treat?
Government and Industry Groups Increase Push for Electronic Medical Records
President’s Message: How Would Washingtonians Want to Be Treated?
Prescription for Privacy Invasions
Growth in Federal Health Programs Results in Massive Collection of Personal Information
HHS Proposes Centralized “System of Records” for Health-Care Investigations
(Submit Public Comments by AUGUST 7!)
Medical Laboratories Could Be Compelled to Report Citizens’ Blood-Sugar-Test Results to Local Governments
What All Americans Should Consider Regarding H.R. 2234
Hillary Clinton and Newt Gingrich Support Legislation That Could Increase Medical Privacy Risks
Should a Federal Committee Recommend Making Your Family’s Genetic History Available on the Internet?
Why the Right to Contract Privately Must Be Upheld
Most Americans Are Uninformed about Plans for a National Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) System
President’s Message: Why I’m Staying Optimistic about Health Privacy (by Sue Blevins)
Who’s Shaping Our Genetic Health Policies?
What the FDA Won’t Tell You about the VeriChip
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Submit Your Comments on the Forthcoming National Electronic Medical-Records Network by JANUARY 18, 2005!
Hospital Association Urges HHS to Eliminate Citizens Right to Public Health Disclosure Information: Currently, citizens are entitled to know if their health information was disclosed to public health officials for purposes such as tracking communicable diseases or placement in a cancer or other disease registry. But HHS is considering eliminating this right to know.
Share Your Comments on the Forthcoming National Electronic Medical-Records Network: Do you approve of having your personal health information (including mental-health records and genetic data) linked to a national electronic medical-records network and widely used without your knowledge or permission?
Update on Unique Health Identifiers (UHIs): Are you ready for a tracking number that could be used to monitor your personal health information from cradle to grave?
The Federal Government Tells Families to Discuss and Document Health History on Thanksgiving. What should families consider regarding this initiative?
A Good Way to Spend Thanksgiving?
No True Health Privacy? Many citizens complaining about medical privacy breaches are not being helped by the federal rule.
FDA is Planning to Track Dietary Supplements Using Data-Mining Technology
President Bush Proposes Screening the U.S. Population for Mental Illness
Will Americans Lose Their Privacy with Electronic Medical Records?
Can You Have True Health Privacy Under Nationalized Health Care?
Are You Ready for a National Health ID Number? Rep. Paul calls for repeal of mandated national health ID.
Five-Page "Notice of Privacy Practices" Reveals Important Information
Federal Medical Privacy Rule and Tying Games: What does getting a copy of one's own medical records have to do with medical privacy?
April 14 Federal Medical Privacy Rule is About Sharing Data
Americans Need to Become Fully Informed about the Federal Medical Privacy Rule: The Institute for Health Freedom sponsored a panel discussion at the National Press Club on March 6 to inform the media, policymakers and public at large about the forthcoming Federal Medical Privacy Rule.
The Final Federal Medical Privacy Rule: The Definitive Guide.
Who Decides? How much medical privacy will Americans have when the Federal Medical Privacy Rule takes effect on April 14, 2003? The Institute for Health Freedom is sponsoring a panel discussion at the National Press Club on March 6 to inform the media, policymakers and public at large about the forthcoming Federal Medical Privacy Rule. The Rule, which takes effect on April 14, 2003, is going to drastically change citizens' ability to control the flow of their personal health information.
Federal Workgroup Meets to Discuss National Health Information Infrastructure (NHII): The federal Workgroup on the National Health Information Infrastructure (NHII) is working to develop a national health-information system and electronic personal medical records for U.S. citizens.
Background of the NHII and Workgroup: What is a "National Health Information Infrastructure" (NHII)?
What Every American Needs to Know about Medical Privacy: If you care about medical privacy, you'll want to read this brochure carefully. You're going to hear about these issues eventually, but the Institute for Health Freedom wants you to have this information now so that you (and your family) can take steps to control who has access to your health and genetic information.

Are you fully informed about the new federal medical privacy rule? This brochure answers the following critical questions:

  • How did the new federal medical privacy rule come about?
  • How will the federal medical privacy rule affect you and your family?
  • Will you be able to find out if your personal health information is flowing over the Internet and released to others without your permission?
Citizens are Concerned about Electronic Transmission of Medical Data: "Seventy-seven percent of consumers surveyed say they are concerned with their doctors' sending medical information to an insurance company over the Internet." Even so, soon doctors will be legally required to submit most Medicare claims electronically.
Will Unique Health Identifiers Become a Reality in the United States? That depends on whether or not Congress continues its moratorium on federal funding for unique health identifiers.
The Peril to Our Privacy: How did the federal medical privacy rule come about? Who was behind it? What can Americans do to protect their medical privacy?
The Truth about the Modified, Final Federal Medical Privacy Rule: An updated analysis of the rule.
Newly Modified, Final Federal Medical Privacy Rule Eliminates Citizens' Control over Their Personal Health Information: A press release covering the October 21 conference at the National Press Club.
How Does the Federal Medical Privacy Rule That Went into Effect October 15, 2002 Affect Citizens' Health Privacy?  Join us for a panel discussion to hear several experts discuss this issue.
Legal Challenge to the Federal Medical Privacy Rule - A law firm representing the American Psychoanalytic Association is considering filing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Federal Medical Privacy Rule, which takes effect October 15, 2002.
State Plans to Collect Personal Medical Data - Link to Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune article.
Public Health Nurse Takes Health Department to Court Over Medical Records - Link to Associated Press article.
Your Past, Present and Future Private Medical Records Will Become Open to the Federal Government (HHS), Data-Processing Companies, Insurers, Hospitals, Doctors and Others—Without Your Consent.
Individuals Lose But Government and Corporations Gain Control over Personal Health & Genetic Information - Bush administration grants data-processing companies and other health care industries new federal regulatory authority to collect and share individuals' personal health information—including genetic information—without individuals' consent.
When it Comes to Medical Privacy, Notification is Not Equal to Consent - The consent policy gives parents full control over their children's health care, while, in contrast, a notification policy denies such control.
IHF Press Conference on Federal Medical Privacy Rule
Bush Administration Calls for Public Input on Final Medical Privacy Rule - Citizens have until April 26, 2002 to submit their comments on proposed changes to the federal medical privacy rule.
Update on the Federal Medical Privacy Rule: Questions and Answers - How will proposed changes to the federal medical privacy rule affect your ability to control the flow of your personal health information?
Medical privacy under assault: Bush administration ignoring pleas to tighten confidentiality - HHS is clearly siding with [health care industry] special interests. Link to WorldNetDaily.com article.
How Will the Federal Medical Privacy Rule Affect Patients' Control Over Personal Health Information? - A panel discussion to find out how the proposed changes will impact patient, government, and industry control over medical information.
HHS Proposes New "Centralized" Medicare Database - Public has until January 15, 2002 to comment.
Public Hearing on Federal Medical Privacy Rule and Patient Consent - The federal medical privacy rule went into effect on April 14, 2001 and covers nearly every citizen--whether health care is paid for privately or federally funded.
Clinton Health Identifying Number Still Fought Over In Congress - Individuals should decide whether they want to be part of a national health tracking database. (Link to CNSNews.com article.)
Testimony Before the Pennsylvania Senate Communications and High Technology Committee - Simply because we have new technology that facilitates the exchange of medical information electronically does not mean that we should eliminate the important legal concept of informed consent.
Congressional Briefing on Medical Privacy - On Wednesday, May 16, Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) sponsored a congressional briefing titled "Myths and Facts About Medical Privacy."... The following briefing materials were presented to each of the staff persons who attended the briefing.
Congressman Paul Introduces Legislation to Repeal Federal Medical Privacy Rule - Allowing government officials to access a private person's medical records without a warrant is a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. . .
President Bush Orders Final Federal Medical Privacy Rule to Take Effect - The medical industry told HHS the federal medical privacy rule is too costly, while concerned citizens say the rule doesn't go far enough to protect patient privacy.
Who Owns Your Genetic Information? - Americans concerned about genetic privacy and ownership rights should carefully read consent forms when undergoing medical procedures and treatments.
HHS Calls for Public Comments on Final Medical Privacy Rule - Share your comments about the final federal medical privacy rule by March 30, 2001.
The new medical privacy regulations: Will they protect our most personal information? - Link to a Cato Policy Forum available via Real Video.
The Final Federal Medical Privacy Rule: Myths and Facts - How does the final federal medical privacy rule affect your privacy?
The New Medical Privacy Regulations: Will They Protect Our Most Personal Information? - Link to information and registration form for a Cato Policy Forum.
Senate to Hold "Public" Hearing on Final Medical Privacy Rule - Will True Privacy Advocates' Voices Be Heard?
Should Community Rights Override Individual Rights to Privacy? A Book Review - The principle that "the community" should balance individual rights and the common good is a euphemism for mob rule.
IHF Hosts Roundtable Discussion of Patients' Rights - The first principle of the Nuremberg Code is "The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential."
HHS Releases Its "Spin" on Medical Privacy Rule - The final national medical privacy rule deserves serious analysis and responsible, independent investigation by as many people and organizations as possible.
Medical Records: For Your Eyes Only? - An illustration.
IHF Holds Press Conference to Release Gallup Survey on Medical Privacy - "Medical research--in any shape or form--is not so lofty an activity that it can afford to disrespect the rights of patients," says Twila Brase.
Gallup Survey Finds Americans' Concern About Medical Privacy Runs Deep - Key findings include: 91 percent oppose a federal requirement to assign everyone a medical identification number.
Public Attitudes Toward Medical Privacy - This report is based on the results of a survey conducted by The Gallup Organization on behalf of the Institute for Health Freedom.
Gallup Survey on Medical Privacy for Release September 26 - "...we wanted to find out how the general public views the issue [Medical Privacy]."
What Americans Need To Know About Medical Privacy Regulations - Did you know that under the proposed privacy regulations, individuals will not be able to sue if their medical privacy is invaded?
Motor Vehicle Administration Has Your Social Security Number . . .and With It, a Whole Lot More - All citizens should be concerned about the proliferating government efforts to obtain their Social Security Numbers (SSNs) without appropriate justification.
Congress Temporarily Halts Funding of Unique Health Identifier: Will President Clinton Sign It into Law? - Once the temporary moratorium on the Unique Health Identifier expires, Americans sooner or later will likely be assigned a tracking number to monitor their medical records electronically.
Congress Holds Hearing on Repealing Unique Health Identifier and Limiting Use of Social Security Numbers - Imagine the potential for abuse if an unscrupulous government official is able to access one's complete medical, credit, and employment history by simply typing the citizen's 'uniform identifier' into a database.
Americans Respond to Medical Privacy Regulations - Over 52,000 Americans and organizations responded to proposed medical privacy regulations.
IHF's Letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala - Americans deserve to know the truth about how the proposed federal medical privacy regulations relate to the Unique Health Identifier and whether the rule will limit or increase access to individuals' personal medical information.
Stop Big Brother From Prying Into Your Medical Records - Here's a new and easy way to tell the federal government how you feel about protecting the privacy of your medical records.
What's Happening with the "Unique Health Identifier" Plan? - Isn't it ironic that some members of Congress who today push "patients' rights" actually helped pass the 1996 law that will allow the federal government to tag and track each person's medical records electronically?
Comment Period Extended for Medical Privacy Rule - Americans Have Until February 17, 2000 to Comment on Proposed Medical Privacy Regulations. "Individuals -- not the federal government -- should decide when, where, how and to whom their medical information is disclosed."
Coming Soon. . . Every American Will Be Assigned a "Unique Health Identifier" - Every American will soon be assigned a "unique health identifier" (a patient ID number). How did this all come about? What can be done to stop it?
Act Now To Protect Your Medical Privacy: Americans Have 60 Days to Comment on Proposed Medical Privacy Rule - The public is being told they have a new right to medical privacy when, in fact, they can't sue or bring a private course of action for damages caused by a breach of confidentiality, under the rule.
Government Begins Collecting Data on Homebound Seniors & Disabled - What's most astonishing about Medicare's OASIS program is that that the government is not only collecting data on homebound patients, but on their caregivers too! That includes husbands, wives, children, or whoever else assists seniors and the disabled in their homes.
Electronic Privacy Information Center: Medical Record Privacy - Information from your medical records may influence your credit, admission to educational institutions, and employment. It may also affect your ability to get health insurance, or the rates you pay for coverage.
Attention Medical Privay Advocates: Congress Needs Your Input by August 3! - The debate over medical confidentiality is heating up on Capitol Hill. If you're concerned about your medical privacy, then you need to voice your personal opinion soon!
Medical Privacy Alert: Just Three Weeks to Act! - Can such vague legislation really guarantee that researchers won't be able to trace back patients' personal information -- including genetic and cellular information?
Medical Privacy Alert: Congress Faces August 21 Deadline - "Individual medical records, including patients' genetic information, could be disclosed by health insurers to credit card companies and other financial institutions."
Does Government Need to Know if Grandpa Curses? Heritage and ACLU say NO! - HCFA has yet to explain how any of its objectives can justify overriding the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the requirements of medical ethics, and the federal regulations on research involving human subjects.
What's Congress Doing About Medical Privacy? - Will Congress pass a bill that truly gives consumers the ability to maintain their medical privacy?
Who Controls Your Medical Records? - Most states have laws that guarantee patients the right to access their own medical records, but H.R. 354 would preempt these even though it exempts certain other state laws.
Are We Headed For A Medical Privacy Invasion? - "A growing number of Americans feel they are losing control over their medical privacy. That loss is real," stated Blevins. Congress Faces August 21 Deadline; Mark-Up Begins June 15.
Institute for Health Freedom To Host Panel Discussion on Medical Privacy Issues - The deadline is approaching. If Congress does not pass a medical privacy law by August 21, 1999, then the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) is required to establish regulations governing your medical privacy.
Protecting Your Medical Privacy
Who's Reading Your Medical Records? - Did you know that your health history can be investigated by insurance companies, government agencies, and health care personnel? Find out how you can investigate the investigators.
Protecting Americans' Medical Privacy: Why Congress Must Act or Be Acted Upon - Hundreds of individuals and organizations have access to your medical records now, whether you know it or not. The Congressional Research Service reports that according to one 1996 estimate, during the course of a hospital stay, as many as 400 people may see at least part of a patient's medical record.
Invasion of Medical Privacy - Several bills, approved and signed, contain pieces of an emerging system that will require every American to carry a photo ID that would include personal history stored on a magnetic strip or computer chip.
Senate Amendment to Stop National Healthcare ID Proposal - "A plan to assign every American a lifetime health-care ID number, similar to a Social Security number, could face new limits under a measure headed for Senate debate. A provision introduced Thursday [September 3] by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, would prohibit the Health and Human Services Department from going forward with the plan until Congress approves its specifics."
 
 
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