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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

June 18, 2014


The Truth about Electronic Health Records

Propaganda only works for so long. Pretty soon truth catches up to it. This is exactly what's happening with electronic health records.


If you're a doctor you know how bad the government-mandated electronic health record (EHR) is. But if you're a patient, you may not realize that EHRs are endangering your life and jeopardizing medical excellence.


The EHR is nothing like what Big Government, Big Data, and Big Health said it would be. They promised convenience, coordinated care, fewer medical errors, more efficient medical practice, and portable medical records. They never meant it and it hasn't happened. These data systems were created for billing, data collection and government control of doctors, not patient care.


Arthur Allen at POLITICO Pro eHealth says government-imposed EHRs are:


  • Driving doctors to distraction
  • Igniting nurse protests
  • Crushing hospitals under debt


"In short," he writes, "the current generation of electronic health records has about as many fans in medicine as Barack Obama at a tea party convention."


Doctors forced to use these EHRs say:


  • "They slow us down and distract us from taking care of patients."


  • "We're basically key-punch operators, transcriptionists having to input the data ourselves. It has essentially tripled the time to complete a medical record."


  • "That's why I'm retiring."


  • "Before I took notes, wrote what I wanted to say. Now I write and I click. If you just click, the person who reads the record gets no idea of what the patient was going through, your thought process."


  • "Anything that in a normal world would take at most two clicks, here it takes four or five."


Proponents falsely promised privacy. The real goal of Big Government, Big Data and Big Health was NO privacy. Data is valued as a tool of control and a means to profit. And today, 2.2 million entities today have legal access to your medical records without your consent because of the so-called HIPAA "privacy rule" and the 2009 HITECH Act. In addition, untold numbers of computer thieves, identity thieves and hackers have illegal access.


Every doctor and hospital must use EHRs by January 1, 2015 or face financial penalties. This was part of Obama's 2009 Recovery Act, and the foundation of Obamacare. The sheer cost of the mandate has forced many doctors to shut down private clinics and become health system employees, susceptible to being told by outsiders how to practice medicine.


The arrogance of some EHR supporters is unpardonable. Bob Kocher helped write Obamacare, was trained as a doctor and is employed as a Venrock venture capitalist in health IT, but his credentials are those of a bureaucrat and profiteer. Per Politico pro eHealth, he says, "The reason so many [computers] are inefficient is that doctors are inefficient. If they redesigned their workflows, computers would work better."


In other words, Mr. Kocher wants doctors to practice according to the computer systems he helped impose, not the doctor's patients. We must never let his agenda for medical practice prevail. State legislatures must act now to restore patient privacy rights and use Tenth Amendment powers to undo the EHR mandate.


Working to sustain an ethical patient-doctor relationship,


Twila Brase

President and Co-founder




News to Know:

Georgia Doctors Worried about New EHR System

Physicians at a Georgia medical center expressed alarm that a poorly installed electronic health record (EHR) computer system will endanger patients. In a letter to hospital leadership, the doctors said the new EHR system is "too cumbersome to be effective," and cited problems with medication errors, orders being lost or overlooked, and ER patients experiencing long waits. . The hospital's chief executive said they are taking "swift action" to address the issues.

Obamacare Sets Up "Big Data" Research on Patients

Funded by the ACA's Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), a federal research network will be set up by September 2015.  The network's 29 research centers will use data, including genetic samples, from patients' EHRs for medical studies.  As The Washington Post reports, "If all goes well, by September 2015 they will be linked together to create a giant repository of medical information from 26 million to 30 million Americans." Called "the holy grail" of health care research, the network has yet to establish standards for sharing data across different systems and resolve privacy, consent and ownership issues.

Obamacare Will Limit Charity Care

Obamacare is driving many hospital systems to reduce free or discounted care for lower-income uninsured people. The 2010 law reduced federal aid to hospitals that treat large numbers of poor and uninsured, creating an incentive for some to restrict charity care. Hospitals, hoping to get paid for services, want these individuals to sign up for Medicaid or health insurance and subsidies through the Exchange -- although the premiums or deductibles may be unaffordable.

CHECKLIST MEDICINE: Value-Based Payments to Doctors

Your doctor may soon not be paid, unless government or health insurers think the service had "value." This Obamacare mandate intends to drive physician compliance with government-defined "cost and quality measurements." This is " checklist medicine," says Galen Institute. A new McKesson opinion research study, The 2014 State of Value-Based Reimbursement shows that within five years two-thirds of payments for care are expected to be made based on value.

LifeSharers for Organ Donors

LifeSharers is a national private network of organ donors that give fellow members first access to their organs upon their death. As of May 2014, the group had 15,585 members in all 50 states. LifeSharers promises members access to organs that may not have otherwise been available to them. About half the organs transplanted in the U.S. go to people who have not agreed to donate their own organs when they die, the group says.

Obamacare Exchange Headed for the Cloud

Under very tight deadlines, the Obama administration is scrambling to overhaul the Obamacare website, They hope to avoid another rocky rollout during the next insurance enrollment period, which begins November 15, 2014. The revamped website will use Amazon cloud computing while the government transitions to another new IT contractor.  About 5.4 million people have signed up for Obamacare using the federal website, which serves 36 states, and 2.6 million did so through state exchange websites.

Hacker: EHR Health Security at Risk

A professional hacker says smaller health care organizations are unaware of security vulnerabilities posed by their IT networks. "They'll say to you, 'Who's going to attack me? I'm some small hospital ... we don't have anything people care about; we don't have credit card numbers," Kevin Johnson said.  Noting that medical records are extremely valuable, he continued, "Here is a massive piece of data that as a bad guy, I would want to have access to."

Financial Incentives for Cancer Docs

Using a "carrot" approach to gain control, WellPoint Cancer Care Quality Program will soon reward oncology physicians for following certain treatment protocols.  WellPoint bases the need for a rewards system on "soaring" chemotherapy costs and failure of doctors to follow "current medical evidence and best practices" for up to one-third of cancer patients on chemotherapy. Doctors will be reimbursed $350 per month for each cancer patient following WellPoint's preferred treatment protocols.

Only One Health Plan Offered

When Obamacare opens to small businesses this fall, workers in 18 states will be offered only one employer-designated health plan. The small-business online exchange (SHOP) was delayed one year because of technical problems -- and will still lack some functions when it opens in November 2014. The federal government will operate SHOP exchanges on behalf of 32 states that chose not to set up their own, including the 18 states that will offer only one plan for employees.

Insurers Want the Young & Healthy

America's Health Insurance Plans ( AHIP) wants Obamacare to make lower-cost catastrophic health plans with premium subsidies available to everyone. The trade group believes the change will increase enrollment among young adults under age 30 who under Obamacare have no access to subsidies to purchase such plans today.  Health plans need dollars from the young and healthy to pay for the care of the older sicker Exchange enrollees. Otherwise, plans may increase premiums, inflaming opposition to Obamacare.

Danger of Electronic Dependency

A major collapse of an electronic medical records system in Alberta, Canada highlights the power and access vulnerabilities inherent in EHR mandates. Some 200 clinics in Alberta are using an EHR system run by Telus Health, which had technological problems for three weeks and then simply froze on June 9.  Patients went without care for the day and doctors had to stay late into the night entering patient data into computers that they had taken down by hand. 

What's the Score, CBO?

Peter Orszag, former Congressional Budget Office (CBO) director under President Obama, told attendees at a Business Roundtable and AARP event that many Obamacare policy proposals haven't been studied specifically and, "There are far too few randomized trials in delivery settings" for CBO to produce "ex-post" (post-implementation) health reform scores on the cost of the law's payment and delivery reforms.

Quote of the Week:

"I wrote America because I realized that the core of the modern progressive philosophy, the philosophy of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and company, is a deep and powerful critique of America, or at least of the Founders' conception of America. And in the name of that critique, the progressives are, in Obama's words, "remaking" America."

"And the thing about remaking America is that you cannot remake America without unmaking the America that is here now. So remaking is a fundamental transformation of our country and it is being done in the name of a certain critique of America." - Dinesh D'Souza, interview about his new book, America: Imagine a World Without Her,, June 2, 2014. [Emphasis added.]



Stat of the Week:

$23.7 billion = federal "meaningful use" incentive payments to doctors and hospitals for setting up and using electronic medical records as required by the Medicare administration, as of April 2014. Yet so far, "meaningful users did not consistently provide higher quality care," according to JAMA Internal Medicine June 2014.



News Release of the Week:

More States Relying on Federal Exchange: Truth is "State" Exchanges Always a Ruse

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Drafters of the Affordable Care Act had lofty goals and big plans for a now-flailing government health care system. Less than a year after the open enrollment date of October 1, those plans are crashing down and the deep cracks in the foundation are starting to show. Continue reading


Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Bribing Cancer Doctors

If you have cancer, your doctor may soon be paid more if they donʼt individualize your care. As The Wall Street Journal reports, "Insurers are...push[ing] oncologists to adhere to standardized treatment guidelines." This means one-size-fits-all protocols that may ration your care. 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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