Monday, February 02, 2009

Doctors' Privacy Upheld

Today, the US Appellate Court shot down Consumer Checkbook's request for access to Medicare billing records:
Medicare billing records -- encompassing virtually every doctor's office -- are the mother lode of health-care data. Experts analyzing them can identify waste or poor quality care.

The nonprofit Consumers' Checkbook group had won a lower court decision to release the records. But a federal appeals court in Washington overturned it late Friday, saying doctors' privacy would be violated.
I wonder who these "experts" are that claim they can identify waste and poor quality care from billing records: no written record, just diagnosis and procedure codes. They surely must be smoking something...

Thank goodness the appeals court had the vision to not be swayed by marketing claims and overturned the earlier district court's ruling.


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