By Kennedy Shelley
Your next trip to the doctor could put your privacy and financial health at risk.
Many people don’t think that they give a tremendous amount of information to their local doctor. And if they do notice, they think it is just staying at that office.
Unfortunately, that is often not the case.
Part of ObamaCare was the creation of the electronic medical records system.
The federal government spent billions of dollars hooking up doctors’ offices, pharmacies, hospitals to government agencies.
One of the reasons why was to stop the abuse of prescription drugs.
The hope was that if hospitals could share information easily it would improve patient care.
But it is a danger to your privacy when hackers get into the system.
A report that was just presented in the Journal of Internal Medicine showed just how vulnerable your private information is when hackers invade the system.
But it’s not just outsiders, most of the people who do all the medical coding and record keeping are sometimes very low-income workers who can be bribed relatively inexpensively.
It’s not just financial data, but also sensitive personal medical information that is vulnerable.
You can lose your reputation and job if something embarrassing leaks out.
How big is the problem?
There have been over 1461 documented data breaches from 2009-19 which affected 169 MILLION people.
Why isn’t this more publicized?
A great deal of it is just hushed up because the hospitals are non-profits and government run institutions.
People have a right to get treated privately for sexually transmitted diseases or mental health issues.
Yet according to the report, over 2 million Americans’ private information has been hacked from the medical computers.
About 70% of the data breaches involve personal information such as name, addresses, social security numbers and birthdays.
This is critical financial data that should always be protected and is highly prized by hackers.
The big problem is that there is no effort by the medical community to report data breaches to the public.
Unfortunately, the federal government wants to expand data sharing, which will place your personal information at more risk.
The federal government’s plans are already in place, but most people are unaware of this.
What can you do about it?
One thing is finding a doctor who keeps paper records and is not tied into the government medical computer system.
I personally switched my medical coverage to a defined benefit program.
I don’t have to get permission from my insurance company for medical procedures, so my doctor doesn’t need my driver’s license and I limit the information my doctor’s office has on me.
It’s not perfect, but it makes it difficult for a hacker to get my complete information if the data is breached.
It also keeps the snooping nose of the government out of my personal medical information.
You also should let your congressmen know that you are insistent that the government computer system protects your privacy and should be a priority.
Right now, your personal privacy is not their top priority, but without you raising a stink about it, it never will be.