Jun 212019
 June 21, 2019  Posted by  Healthcare

From the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons:

The House of Representatives has hidden inside a trillion dollar “must pass” spending bill, a provision that eliminates the prohibition on the use of federal funding to assign all Americans a unique medical identifier. Former Congressman Ron Paul, M.D., got that prohibition enacted in 1998.

Update: the House passed the 667 page (not including amendments) HR 2740 on June 19 and it will make its way over to the Senate.

The identifier is supposed to improve “efficiency”—of what? Government surveillance of all Americans? The agenda of government-favored special interests, who might want to silence persons with political views they don’t like? Persons who might see you as a threat to their success in business, academia, or other ventures?

What might be in your record? A prescription for Valium or other drug prescribed during a distressing life crisis? This could be a psychiatric “red flag” causing denial of your gun rights. A diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease? An admission that you had a temper tantrum or used an illegal drug at a party? Could this derail a job application or cause you to lose child custody or foreclose a political career?

Read more on AAPS.

And if you still think this is a good idea, ask yourself if your Social Security Number – or the SSN of someone you know – ever wound up in criminal marketplaces being used for tax refund fraud or identity theft.

And remind yourself that even having a single identifier will NOT result in doctors everywhere being able to access your records in an emergency because the sad reality is that most health networks are still not able to communicate or exchange with each other.

A unique medical identifier may sound good, but it is something that will ultimately cause more grief than benefit.


  3 Responses to “Why You Don’t Want a Unique Medical ID”

  1. Excellent points!!

    Dissent, have you turned into me? lol

  2. I normally don’t permit links in comments, but am making an exception.

    Respectfully, I don’t agree with that article. I think what will happen is that first the persistent identifiers get compromised in a breach, and then everyone goes, “OOOH, we need 2FA on this…” and then a few years later, “Yeah, so we need MFA on this…” And it’s still meaningless when the systems you are trying to access cannot share information with each other. I have multiple doctors all in one health system, but their practices were on different systems before they joined the one network. One doctor cannot access my files from another doctor, even though they have consent and my identity info, etc. Let’s see how we can make records accessible and then talking about authentication/identification is more useful. As things are now, I just see more risks with no significant gain in benefit.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.