A couple of years ago, North Carolina Republicans in the General Assembly established the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority. This is a state government authority set up to receive the electronic medical records of North Carolina citizens.
This overall zeitgeist, however, is a bipartisan initiative. The democratic socialists have done more than their share at the federal level to force this type of approach upon us. Newt Gingrich was also a paid lobbyist pushing in this direction. Big Data, the health insurance industry and the democratic socialist/Republican duopoly at the state and federal levels all have had an acute interest in forcing this upon patients and physicians.
It is now possible for North Carolina patients to know which health care facilities are participating with the state exchange. These include Duke Health, Novant Health, Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Health Care. Numerous other hospitals, facilities and practices are also participating or in the process of getting connected.
If you are interested in knowing whether your medical records are at risk of being sent to our state government, please check out this document. It lists all those facilities and practices within the state already connected. The vast majority of entities are going to participate because the state has made it mandatory for those seeing patients under Medicaid and the State Employees Health Plan.
Here is another shocking piece of information. The state information exchange, according to one of the above linked documents, will be connected to various federal agencies and also to other states. That means the medical records for North Carolina citizens potentially can be accessed by others elsewhere, including those within the Deep State in Washington, D.C.
There is a longstanding tradition within the health care community that medical records are supposed to be private and confidential. That tradition is speedily being thrown out with the morning trash. Statistics suggest that upwards of 25% of these medical records will be hacked. But now, it is considered enlightened that our records should be routinely turned in to the government, thus reducing all of us to the level of serfs.
What is my advice? Be sure to ask, whenever you present to a medical facility for evaluation and treatment, whether it is connected electronically to the state health information exchange; and whether their records are routinely turned over to this exchange.
I would recommend that you ask this question with every single visit or encounter. And I would instruct the staff that your records must not, under any circumstances, be sent in to the state. Furthermore, you should request that you be given an opportunity to sign a form stating that you "opt out" of having your records turned over electronically.
An outstanding summary of the issue of electronic health records is found here in the most recent issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Patients and families are going to have to fight for their privacy and dignity because our esteemed elected officials are emboldened to give it all away.