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Project melds health-care, banking info - Backers say idea could slash costs of medical care

Posted by ED - I would note, ironically, that Patient Privacy Rights - http://www.patientprivacyrights.org, is hosted on Convio, which has several other medically-related associations as customers. Why, Convio could be aggregating that data as we speak. PPR testifies to the necessity of Medical Banking's proposed "unified view" by their own portal practice. See, that high school debate pays off...

Casillas' reaction to the comments made by a privacy advocate in the Tennessean article cited below

Comment: Public Trust is the centerpiece of MBProject's effort to reduce healthcare costs in America utilizing well financed and refined banking systems. No entity has so emphasized this critical issue in cross-industry public forums as MBProject. This very issue has defined us, and we have been instrumental in defining policy in this key area and continue to do so. Our work was recognized by not a few privacy groups (see EPIC testimony to NCVHS). We stand on our record to emphasize the criticality of HIPAA and banking by organizing 12 HIPAA Policy Roundtables over 24 months, reaching over 230 bankers, healthcare and financial agencies and a good many others. Our first two full day Institutes completely focused on this key issue. Today, our Member banks embrace HIPAA inasmuch as the convergence of banking and healthcare is a "fait accompli", whether via better payment processes, consumer-driven healthcare, more liquidity for healthcare, etc. Banks fall under the HIPAA blanket of protection in their relationships with HIPAA covered entities, and so cannot use patient data without authorization. Some may be surprised to learn that many large banks are HIPAA-covered entities who have a direct federal obligation. Moreover, external to this discussion, Public Trust has and ever will be central to banking operations. Without it, banks cease to exist. Privacy advocates should know that MBProject continues to lead efforts to instill Public Trust in medical banking models as we implement a digital framework that will improve healthcare in America and around the world.

Wednesday, 05/09/07, By GETAHN WARD, Staff Writer, the Tennessean

Imagine going to your bank's Web site and being able to pick a doctor, schedule an office visit, check lab results or pay a bill from your last appointment.

That's one of the initiatives of the Medical Banking Project, a Franklin-based think tank that advocates using back-office systems perfected by banks to slash health-care costs.

Later this year, the project plans to launch a computer-based platform called BoardTrust that would let banks share information, including medical records, and provide standards to govern that process.

Executive Director John Casillas thinks banks could cut health-care costs and that they could certainly help trim the $35 billion a year spent to process medical bill payments.

"We're linking the banking system into health care so the health-care world doesn't have to invest in technology and processes that banks already have spent on heavily," Casillas said.

Banks know security

Backers of the project point to investments that banks already have made to secure data — and their Web sites — and the trust many people have in banks among reasons why the idea should work.

"If you trust your bank with your money, why wouldn't you trust it with your health records?" asked David Harris, a partner in New York with accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, a corporate member of the Medical Banking Project.

Some privacy advocates, however, are concerned that banks could share that information with affiliates and other third parties, creating a nightmare scenario.

"For them to have your medical records too is actually a terrible idea," said Dr. Deborah Peel, a psychiatrist in Austin, Texas, and chairwoman of Patient Privacy Rights, which represents patients and consumers.

Peel's group supports bills soon to be introduced in Congress that would create health data banks in which people could store copies of their medical records. Consumers would control who sees the records, which couldn't be sold without their approval, she said.

Casillas agrees privacy concerns are a barrier. But he said that even without passage of the bills likely to be sponsored by Republican Sen. Sam Brownbackand Democrat Rep. Dennis Moore, both of Kansas, banks could proceed.

In the medical banking model, consumers would have control over their records, Casillas said.

For Casillas, there's also challenges in getting banks and health plans to work together because both ultimately want to own the consumer.

May 9, 2007 in A Bank-Driven eHealth Ecosystem | Permalink

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Comments

This is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard.

What if you DON'T trust your bank with your money? For years, the IRS has been able to bypass our privacy and take money from our accounts - with the banks' cooperation.

If our health records fall into the hands of the banking industry (which, I recall, is FAILING), what will happen to our privacy? If another government agency puts the screws to them, will they give up our records?

I don't want to give my money OR my personal medical records to someone I can't trust to act in my best interest.

Posted by: Angela DePriest | Mar 9, 2009 11:13:17 AM

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