6268Re: [prbytes] A PR Disaster Unfolding
- Jun 27, 2014Duncan,It was the health insurer, Blue Cross, who called me, not the hospital. In the U.S. insurers, by virtue of paying hospitals and doctors, have access to health records of those they insure. They have say over whether the claim gets paid - or not.As well, a recent new ruling allows data mining companies access to Medicare claims information after a spunky little woman-run company in the South sued the government. I'm hoping that doesn't include patients personal information beyond basic demographics. Medicare, a national program, insures those 65+ and people with disabilities. Medicare Part A pays hospitals. Medicare Part B pays doctors, but not fully. Consequently, many Medicare patients have supplementary insurance from one of many private health insurers or, if they qualify financially Medicaid. So here in the U.S. our health records are open to many.Hospitals, until now, have been vigilant about patient health records. There have been many incidents where unauthorized hospital personnel peeked at health records of the rich and famous treated at their hospital - and been fired for the breach. As for legality, we do have HIPPA laws to protect patient privacy. I work mainly with medical device and life sciences companies and when doing stories never ask for a patient name until the patient has signed a consent.- EdnaOn Jun 27, 2014, at 9:26 AM, Duncan Matheson duncan@... [prbytes] wrote:
Interesting developments from a potential crisis communications/ crisis management POV. But I’m a little confused. Ned says it is based on information from data miners but Edna suggests it is coming from hospital records. Maybe the rules are different in the United States, but here in Canada, there’s a huge difference. Data mining is here to stay and while big brotherish for sure, it’s not illegal, but crossing over into accessing hospital records is criminal. In the U.S. have they gone that far? And if so, is that not a criminal offence in your country?
What are they smoking in those hospital marketing departments? I too have worked with hospitals but not as extensively as Ned. Still, it's well known - even by the idiots in the Carolinas hospital system - that consumers, aka hospital patients, are already skittish about privacy of their health records, and justifiably so. I was furious when I received a call from BC/BS a couple of years ago about my "arthritis." I had mentioned some knee pain to my doctor during a physical and he said it might be arthritis from years of running, skiing and otherwise stressing my misaligned knees. OK, maybe I do have some arthritis but it's still in the "can be ignored" stage. I felt completely violated by that call, and so will many of the people whose private lives and choices are being called into question by big brother. It's been a while but that call still galls me.- EdnaOn Jun 26, 2014, at 11:37 PM, 'Ned Barnett' ned@... [prbytes] wrote:
As many of you know, I've worked with hospitals and healthcare providers
since '77, and have written books about hospital PR (I'm also an AHA
"Fellow" in PR and Marketing). I think I have a fair handle on the kinds of
things that portend a PR disaster.
I've just learned about one - a new one - and I've got to wonder what the
(ahem)-for-brains decision-makers are thinking.
Here's the deal. The largest hospital company in the Carolinas (which is
doin this for 2,000,000 people), plus one more hospital system in
Pennsylvania are both now buying data on people who've been patients -
getting details of their purchases from data brokers. Then they're
"advising" these people when they're making personal choices that run
counter to their best health interests - from smoking or eating Twinkies to
"forgetting" to renew their gym/fitness center membership.
Now they do this through their doctors, but the word is already out that the
hospitals are doing this. If I was a recipient of one of those calls, I'd
"lose" my doctor and never go to that hospital, ever again. Plus I'd tell
everyone I know that "Big Brother" has finally arrived - 30 years, late, but
it's now 1984.
To show this isn't political, I found reports from Bloomberg (left) and Fox
News (right) that both "view with alarm" what's going on.
Does anybody agree (or disagree) that this is a monumental PR blunder of the
first order of magnitude, one that's sure to bite those hospitals where they
All My Best
Ned Barnett, APR
Marketing & PR Fellow, American Hospital Association
Barnett Marketing Communications
420 N. Nellis Blvd., A3-276 - Las Vegas NV 89110
702-561-1167 - cell/text
<http://www.barnettmarcom.com/> www.barnettmarcom.com - twitter @nedbarnett
05-6-16 BMC Logo
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