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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

February 24, 2012

Letter from the President

Welcome to the new CCHF Health eNews newsletter!

Each week I'll be sharing important news on various issues happening around the country that impact health freedom.

Please note this important change in your email subscription:

If you desire to be informed or actively engaged in our efforts in Minnesota, no worries. We'll continue to periodically send out Minnesota-specific notices and alerts related to pending legislation, opportunities to show up at hearings and rallies at the State Capitol.

If you do not wish to be engaged or informed on happenings specific to Minnesota, just unsubscribe from those Minnesota alerts.

Each week in this new publication, you'll find our latest press release and a Radio Spotlight highlighting one of our recent Health Freedom Minute radio spots.

You'll also find action items. These could include opportunities to attend key conferences online, provide public comments on Obamacare regulations, or send in written testimony to a Congressional committee.

Now on to the news...

News to Know:

The public's ire over President Obama's contraception mandate (which is a violation of everyone's freedom), is growing, not dissipating. More than 2500 religious leaders now charge that the contraception mandate is a violation of religious liberty. The mandate is a sign of more intrusive, objectionable mandates to come (click here to read the press release).

In addition, IPAB, one of the "death panels" is headed soon toward a vote on repeal. The bill to repeal the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board is being "marked up" by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to Politico (2/21). The legislation authored by Rep. Phil Roe has 224 cosponsors, including 16 Democrats. I met with Congressman Roe last summer to discuss his bill.

This week two interesting surveys of doctors were released.

Both focus on government-mandated electronic medical records (EMRs).

First, a little history.  The 2009 stimulus bill (Recovery Act) gave upwards of $34 billion for health information technology (health IT) to build a national health information network (NHIN), a national medical records system.

Part of those dollars will be spent rewarding doctors through incentive payments for buying interoperable (online) electronic medical records and using them to achieve "meaningful use" (MU), as determined by the federal government.

The 275-page federal "meaningful use" rule requires doctors and hospitals to comply with a whole list of items. For instance, doctors must:

  • record each patient's BMI (body fat),
  • implement "decision support", which puts treatment protocols issued by outsiders on doctor's computers for doctors to follow,
  • report so-called "quality" (compliance) data to the government, showing that doctors are following government directives in the treatment of patients.
  • have systems that allow automatic reporting of information to state and federal health departments, such as immunization (child and adult) and certain diagnoses.

Many MU requirements may be considered intrusive and objectionable to patients, especially those that require reporting patient data to the government. Doctors and hospitals may also object.

The FIRST STUDY this week surveyed 700 health care providers. Issued by IVANS Inc., it found that 39% of providers have no plan to meet the federal government's requirement for "meaningful use" of electronic medical records.  They also found 25% of the respondents who are eligible for federal incentive payments have no plans to pursue the money.

Penalties await. Doctors and hospitals who do not implement interoperable electronic medical records by 2015 will be penalized. Under the Recovery Act, they will receive lower federal payments for every Medicare patient.

The SECOND STUDY, out of Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, shows that six out of 10 doctors have NOT seen real improvement in diagnosis or treatment planning when using electronic medical records. That's an incredible two-thirds of doctors. Furthermore, 22 percent of doctors have privacy concerns about using EMRs.

So why the rush to EMRs? As I like to say, "He who holds the data makes the rules." The EMR mandate is focused on accessing and using patient data for the financial, political and policy benefits of health plans, government, and the health IT industry. Patient beware.

The battle for individual freedom rages on.  I hope that this weekly publication will provide you with the information and tools you need to engage in this critical battle and to support CCHF's efforts.

News Release of the Week

Citizens' Council for Health Freedom President Twila Brase Honored by Wisconsin Senate

Patient Advocate Helped Protect State's Rights and Freedoms

St. Paul, Minn. - Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom (CCHF), a patient-centered national health policy organization based in St. Paul, Minn., was recently honored by the Wisconsin State Senate for her work to protect patient rights.
The Citation by the Senate from the State of Wisconsin recognized Brase for her work in helping to defeat several Obamacare initiatives, including a federal health insurance exchange, there. Brase has been leading the charge against state legislatures establishing health insurance exchanges, and CCHF has helped defeat exchanges in Wisconsin, North Dakota and Michigan.    Continue reading

Action Items:

What:   PCORI National Patient and Stakeholder Dialogue
When:   Monday, February 27, 2012  9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST
Where:  The National Press Club (and via Teleconference/Webcast)
  529 14th St., NW, 13th Floor
  Washington, D.C.



View the complete event schedule

Submit Comments

Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Doctors Don't Work for Patients
Doctors are getting paid less and less. Patients donʼt know this because patients no longer pay the bills. Health plans and government do. Health plans and government also tell doctors what they can and cannot do for patients. As one doctor told me, "If itʼs not on the computer screen, I canʼt do it."   Continue reading

Twila Brase broadcasts a daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which brings health care issues to light for the American public. Health Freedom Minute airs on the entire American Family Radio Network, with more than 150 stations nationwide in addition to Bott Radio Network with over 80 stations nationwide.

Click here to listen to this week's features.

Citizens' Council for Health Freedom
161 St. Anthony Avenue, Ste 923
St. Paul, MN 55103
Phone: 651.646.8935 • Fax: 651.646.0100

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