More On Attempted ME-Post Censorship

Return to Ethridge’s Hill

By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDSpruitt

For those who have stayed up late, here is a sneak preview of some upcoming action – hopefully attracting the best PR people BCBS of New Mexico can field – Becky Kenny and Ross Blackstone. 

ModernHealthcare.com – The Strong Arm? – NOT

You may or may not recall that about two months ago, Martin Ethridgehill, who once worked for BCBSNM, posted a comment on ModernHealthcare.com that was later removed as ordered by Becky Kenny – a PR specialist who represents the interests of BCBSNM. So what did Becky’s recently laid-off colleague say that justified field censorship? The title says it all:  “Don’t Rush eHRs Without Addressing Medical ID Theft.”  It attracted my attention before it attracted BCBSNM’s. They move slower than I do.

Blue Cross – Blue Shield 

Apparently, even though leaders of BCBS think caution might be prudent in paying Texas physicians for health care, the organization is not necessarily in favor of delaying the adoption of eHRs … or something like that. Maybe Jon Stewart will explain it some day for us on Comedy Central.

ME-P … Marcinko Does Not Fold 

And who is this Ross Blackstone? He’s a manly piece of PR. He tried to persuade Dr. David E. Marcinko, publisher of the ME-P, to remove my comment which is not a copy of Ethridgehill’s statement, but is a report on his statement. Blackstone learned that Marcinko doesn’t fold as easily as the publisher of ModernHealthcare.com folded to Becky Kenny’s demand. I bet she got nasty with them.

The Blackstone Video 

So who is Ross Blackstone? I’m trying to get away from posting links because they are so tedious. But you just have to watch “Ross Blackstone Reporter Resume” video on YouTube. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuHBnNiYvcU

Assessment

“First they ignore you, then they attack you, and then you win”

-Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Conclusion

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Don’t Rush Into eHRs

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Address Medical ID Theft

1-darrellpruitt

[By Darrell Pruitt; DDS]

Yesterday, an important message titled “Don’t Rush eHRs Without Addressing Medical ID Theft” was posted on ModernHealthcare.com by Martin Ethridgehill, a provider training specialist with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico.

Link: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090302/REG/303029965

Mr. Ethridgehill points out that if a patient’s electronic medical identity is stolen by someone for health insurance benefits, critical information about the patient can be imperceptibly altered, leading to accidental death in an emergency room for any number of reasons.  Furthermore, he points out that even if the real patient is aware that his or her record is tainted by a false patient’s data, it is very difficult to get the comingled record cleared up.

I have also read elsewhere that HIPAA actually impedes resolution of the nightmare because the Rule also protects the privacy of the false patient – prohibiting the real patient from examining his or her own health record.

Reasons to Go Slow 

Ethridgehill is particularly critical of the EHR industry which lately has downplayed the importance of patient privacy in order to sell dangerous products.  He gives these reasons for the need to slow down in the rush for interoperability:

  • “Adding safety and records mitigation protocols ensures patient safety as an ongoing concept and practice.”
  • “No industry would be allowed to operate, where the officials in charge of it stated that the market or other bodies would be responsible for creating safety procedures. Can you imagine if the auto industry stated, “We make cars, let the market figure out how to regulate safety”? I doubt that Congress or any other body would consider these people as remotely credible, yet I hear time and time again these statements being made in public and private forums by executives, lobbyists, and even so-called healthcare leaders.”
  • “For the public and providers to embrace a product that has no regulation, no built-in safeguards and obviously no importance to safety from the makers of these products, why would Congress expect the American public or healthcare providers to embrace a product or concept that involves the unregulated risk of injury, death, or staggering liability opportunities, let alone without any hope of remedy or proper relief?”

Conclusion

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