In the U.S.A. the "healthcare reform debate is raging in our congress and on main street. What is missing is intelligent conversation around how the Laws of Identity should be applied to medical records/health records. Maybe I could recoup some of my out-of-pocket costs for healthcare if I could charge the hospital or provider when they sell MY records for research. What about my health insurance provider and all the claims data they have on me.
An interesting point, and one lost on all in the media, is that the debate is really about health insurance costs and not healthcare itself. Sure there is noise and dollars being thrown to digital medical records but no one seems to be even talking about the endless cost increases from providers, hospitals, and diagnostic testing. I have personally seen around a 45% increase in office visit fees from my family physician in the last two years. My health insurance costs rose only about 12% in that same time period. So, where's the problem? We can't place the blame entirely on insurance companies, after all it is to their advantage to reduce medical costs not increase them.
Sorry for my digression into reality. I read, I think for the first time, in a mainstream news article something that has long been ignored in the U.S.A.'s debate on healthcare: Who owns an individuals medical records. The Dallas Morning news had a single paragraph in an article last week titled "Who really profits from digital medical records?".
"Data sharing confronts age-old assumptions that providers, not patients, own health records, which are valuable assets that can be used to obtain grants and market hospitals. It requires the government to decide what kinds of systems will improve care and how providers should use the systems to achieve that. "