Mandated Use of Electronic Records Erodes Medical Privacy

Federal requirements create a data-mining opportunity


The days of doctor/patient privacy are dwindling as more agencies and companies wield technology to peer into your medical records.

Privacy advocates are now bracing for full implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act, which calls for more electronic record keeping and more opportunities for database mining of health records by marketers, credit agencies and law enforcement.

The latest example of this is the FICO medical adherence score. The credit rating company started collecting prescription information in 2011 and applying proprietary algorithms to determine who is most at risk for misusing their medication. The company said it uses the information to help health professionals identify those at risk for under using (or over using) medicine.