Time-Sensitive Information for CA Healthcare Subscribers

SOUL SHERPA (R) is compelled to pass along today’s email from Carmen Balber, the executive director of Consumer Watchdog, whose mission is to “Expose, Confront, Change.”  To all Californians who are covered by a healthcare plan with Anthem Blue Cross or Blue Shield of California, please read:

Can you believe that two giant insurance companies are sharing the private medical records of their 9 million customers with a database that doesn’t even have a privacy policy?

If you’re a member of Anthem Blue Cross or Blue Shield of California, they’re already giving your health information to this new database. You can protect your medical records by going online here or calling (888) 510-7142 to opt out today.

As the Los Angeles Times reported, we’re calling for a boycott of the database until the company running it, called Cal INDEX, is transparent about how medical records will be used, whether patients will have access to their own records, and how patient privacy will be protected.

The insurance companies say that they created the database so your doctors can access all your health information in the same place. This kind of central electronic medical record can make health care safer – but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of patient privacy. Until the insurance companies disclose who will have access to sensitive medical information, and how it will be used, no one has enough information to safely participate.

Customers of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield can protect their privacy by opting out today online, or by calling (888) 510-7142.

Once privacy questions are answered, you can choose to opt back in. Until then, opt out to let Anthem and Blue Shield know they can’t share your medical records before the right privacy protections are in place.

Sincerely,

Carmen Balber
Executive Director

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