Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Sunday, January 27, 2019

I Think Almost No-One Has Noticed Just What Huge Changes Have Been Wrought In The #myHealth Program By Public Annoyance And Outrage!

This press release appeared a few days ago:

You always have a choice with My Health Record

23 January, 2019 - 15:15
Australians can choose to have or cancel a My Health Record at any point in their life.
New laws to strengthen the privacy and security protections within My Health Record mean that from tomorrow, a function has been activated in the My Health Record system that allows a person to permanently delete their record at any time, including any backups.
All records that have previously been cancelled will also be permanently deleted from the system.
If a person changes their mind, they can choose to register for a record to enjoy the benefits of controlling their health information securely in one place to support their health and care.
My Health Record is an online summary of a person’s key health information. It allows them to share and control their health information with doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers, from anywhere at any time.

Key facts and figures

  • 6.45 million Australians currently have a My Health Record.
  • Since July 2018, almost half a million Australians have decided not to wait for a My Health Record to be created for them, and have chosen to have a record created for them.
  • 82% of general practices are now connected to My Health Record.
  • 84% of community pharmacies are now connected to My Health Record. The increase in pharmacy connections has tripled in the past 6 months.
  • 75% of public hospitals are now connected to My Health Record.
New laws passed by Parliament last year strengthen the legislation prohibiting insurers and employers to access or use My Health Record information, or to ask a person to disclose the information, for insurance or employment purposes under any circumstance.
The new laws also legislate the Agency’s existing policy around disclosure to law enforcement agencies - law enforcement agencies cannot access a person’s My Health Record without a warrant or court order.
“I am pleased to have more control and choice over my wellbeing and who has access to this, which has lead me to become more invested in my own health needs. I believe information is power and My Health Record has empowered me to no longer rely on others to manage my personal health information,” said My Health Record user and carer Melissa Williams.
“Having a My Health Record places the control of a person’s healthcare directly into their hands,” said Professor Meredith Makeham, Chief Medical Advisor for the Australian Digital Health Agency.
"After 31 January 2019, a My Health Record will be created for everyone who has not opted out of the system.
“However, January 31 is not a cut-off date for Australians to continue to have a choice about using My Health Record to manage their health and care.
“The new permanent delete functionality means Australians will always have the choice not to have a record and they can remove all of their data from the My Health Record system. At any time in their lives, they can delete their record — and no copy will be kept.”
Here is the link:
Likewise we had a release from the Consumer Health Forum.

My Health Record enshrines choice

24 January 2019 — Media release
A change in the law enabling people to delete permanently their My Health Record, should strengthen public trust in the system, the Consumers Health Forum says.
“This change will reassure those people who were concerned that their decision to opt out of MHR would not prevent their record being accessed by officials at some later time,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said.
“The Australian Digital Health Agency says that from today (24 January), a function has been activated in the My Health Record system that allows a person to permanently delete their record at any time, including any backups and that all records previously cancelled will also be permanently deleted from the system.
“This step comes as Australians have just one more week to decide whether or not to opt out of MHR, one of the most significant developments in our health system for many years.
“MHR will enable all Australians to store and share their own medical information so that it can be promptly accessed by doctors and other health providers, with access and security controls the consumer can set. My Health Record is a step towards more people being actively involved in their care.
“The deadline for people to opt out of MHR is January 31. People who do nothing will be automatically enrolled onto MHR. Those who want no part of MHR can cancel now or at any time in the future. You can also set controls on who may see your health records. For more details go to My Health Record website or help line, 1800 723 471.
“The Consumers Health Forum has for some years strongly supported a secure national health records system because of the potentially great benefits it offers consumers and health providers,” Ms Wells, said.
“About one million people have decided to opt out of MHR as they are entitled to.
“We accept there have been serious questions raised about privacy and security issues.
“However, we believe the changes introduced by the Government should resolve these concerns. The doubts and criticisms about security must be weighed against the long-term benefits of information technology that will bring to health care the advances in services and access already taken for granted in other parts of modern life.
“The MHR will improve efficiency and precision in medicine, providing scope for consumers to have a better-informed role in their own health care and in particular facilitating the care of those with chronic and complex conditions.
“More significant improvements will be needed to the MHR system as we learn from experience but February 1 marks a pivotal day in Australian health care,” Ms Wells said.
The important legislative changes to privacy and security safeguards introduced by the Federal Government late last year include:
·         Cancelled records will be fully deleted from the system and all backups. This feature has not yet been implemented, however the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has assured us that it will be by January 31.
·         Better privacy protections for 14 to 17-year-olds so that access to records by parents will automatically be withheld and the record-holder would have to consent to their access being allowed. The ADHA has said this provision will be introduced shortly.
·         MHR data can’t be used for insurance or employment purposes.
·         Improved protections for those at risk of domestic violence.
·         Making it clear that the only government agencies that can access the MHR system are the ADHA, the Department of Health and the Chief Executive of Medicare.
·         Ensuring the system cannot be privatised.
·         Enshrining in legislation the principles and governance structure in the Framework to guide the secondary uses of My Health data.
·          Increasing the penalties incurred for inappropriate or unauthorised use.
CHF has compiled a ‘Hub’ for the My Health Record webinar series with information on how it all works, what you might want to consider when making your decision, and where you can find more resources to help you think it through.
State and territory health departments also have further location specific information available on My Health Record. While the number of hospital systems and health providers connected to the system is rapidly increasing, not all of those who are connected are able to access the full range of information held in a person’s record yet.
Here is the link:
Also from the RACGP:

New function expected to strengthen public trust in My Health Record

Australians are now able to permanently delete their My Health Record, with planned changes officially coming into effect.
A new My Health Record function will give people the option to permanently delete their record at any time.
Individuals who wanted to opt out of My Health Record could previously only restrict the access of doctors and other officials.
However, the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has created a new function that enables people to permanently delete their record at any time, including whatever back-ups that may have existed.
Consumers Health Forum of Australia CEO Ms Leanne Wells said the added feature should strengthen public trust in the system.
‘This change will reassure those people who were concerned that their decision to opt out of My Health Record would not prevent their record being accessed by officials at some later time,’ she said.
‘This step comes as Australians have just one more week to decide whether or not to opt out of My Health Record, one of the most significant developments in our health system for many years.’
Aside from allowing the permanent deletion of records, the legislation also prevents law enforcement agencies from accessing records without a warrant or court order.
The new function is a result of legislation passed last November, brought about by extensive lobbying from healthcare professionals – including RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon.
More here:
However things are still not as good as they might be:

Insurers gaining 'open-ended access' to medical records slammed as 'unfair privacy breach'

By national consumer affairs reporter Amy Bainbridge and the Specialist Reporting Team's Emily Clark
Julie Gilbert has no idea what her insurance company knows about her medical history.

Key points:

  • Australians who declare mental health treatments on insurance applications are often forced to grant access to their medical records
  • Legal advocates argue "open-ended" access is an "unfair breach of consumers' privacy"
  • They want to limit insurers' access to five years worth of records
When she applied for income protection and life insurance, Ms Gilbert declared she had received counselling for sexual abuse she said she suffered as a child.
For the application to proceed, she had to grant the insurer access to her records. Her GP and specialist were then obligated to hand over the records the insurer asked for, but she had no idea just how much information was passed along.
"As far as I know they've actually seen all of my medical records," she said.
"The scary part about it all is I don't know what else they were able to actually access.
"I don't even know who it went to. I don't know if they still have copies of it, whether that has been destroyed, whether it has been passed on and has it actually been dealt with sensitively."
To make matters worse, insurer MLC applied an exclusion to Ms Gilbert's policy, refusing to cover her for any mental illness in the future.
"I was being a responsible person seeking out help and treatment to make sure that I was a productive person, that I could work; I wasn't going to take sick days off. And I got penalised for it," she said.
"It was just counselling sessions with no medication, but it was good to have someone to talk through some of the things that I was experiencing and ways in which to cope with it."
After allegedly suffering sexual abuse in the mid-1980s, asking for help and getting better, Ms Gilbert is furious an insurance company can discriminate against her.
"Gutted. Angry. Upset. I felt like I was being penalised for something that I didn't do to myself, that was out of my control," she said.
Lots more here:
I don’t think most people realise just how far things have moved in six or seven months, and there is more to come with an ANAO Audit of the whole process which one has to imagine will hardly be rich with fulsome praise for a job well done for the ADHA, its Board and CEO.
Bluntly they have jointly attempted a swindle on a startled populace and have been sprung. For something that was meant to be ready to implementation of opt-out, and clearly wasn't,  the flaws and issues identified have called out a total lack of insight, caring, consideration and common sense.
It would still be better to just get rid of this monster and replace if by something that is wanted and needed – as I suspect will happen after a change of Government and a proper review – but for now it is clear those who want out can now get out, completely, and that is a great first step!
They will try to spin the last six months as a huge victory when in reality they have been comprehensively routed, chastised and placed back in their box by a public that are way more sensible than them and have rendered the opt-out date largely symbolic! Any time you want, you can now give these over-reaching bureaucrats the finger and go!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

David, a baritone started emerging yesterday around the age old unresolved ( yes one of many) issue - medico-legal. An interesting turn of events is that Labor has picked up on it and delivered a stunning Zinger.