California Needlessly Reduces Privacy During COVID-19 Pandemic

This one isn’t even related to contact tracing:

On March 17, 2020, the federal government relaxed a number of telehealth-related regulatory requirements due to COVID-19. On April 3, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-43-20 (the Order), which relaxes various telehealth reporting requirements, penalties, and enforcements otherwise imposed under state laws, including those associated with unauthorized access and disclosure of personal information through telehealth mediums.

Lots of details at the link.

Posted on April 16, 2020 at 10:34 AM22 Comments

Comments

JonKnowsNothing April 16, 2020 11:41 AM

My health care provider in California, has been using video and tele conferencing for a while but those previous systems required a special app and/or web camera for the video options and theoretically used protected communications.

Lots of other departments in this system did not have similar options and now, due to Lock Down or Lock In, have no real way to connect with patients in their clinics. Some were able to do phone check-ins from the office, but relied primarily on face-to-face evaluations. All these clinics are closed or have very limited access. Workers are tele-working making their patient contacts from their homes which of course have zero security for anything.

There are at least 3 areas where things go south:

  1. Equipment. None are secured.
  2. Communications links both by phone, computer, switch, vpn etc. Most of those are not secured.
  3. Software. While they may have had some software which qualified for doctor-patient-system privacy protections, they probably do not have enough user-use-licenses for it. They may be relying on ZOOM or RING for video (just stand at your front door).

It would all appear to be legit to relax the rules so providers can do patient follow ups, but the rules weren’t very good to start with.

The provider has informed me they are trying to DO SOMETHING ’cause they are getting a “hint” that lockdown-lockin is going to be more than 2 more weeks.

The primary beneficiary of the vulnerable data streams are LEOS and other illegal uses. Having access to your medical records “legally” without a warrant or oversight gives cover to the medical providers and the LEOs using it plus opportunities galore for hatchet-jobs as specialized by PACs, lobbyists, and reputation cleaners. It wasn’t that long ago the word “CANCER” was considered a taboo word.

In the meantime, if I want to contact my primary care provider, that’s the only “health safe” way. Going into a clinic for a test or pharmacy or face-to-face visit with my doctor is a thing of the past.

Clive Robinson April 16, 2020 1:05 PM

@ Bruce,

    “California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-43-20 (the Order), which relaxes various telehealth reporting requirements, penalties, and enforcements otherwise imposed under state laws, including those associated with unauthorized access and disclosure of personal information through telehealth mediums.”

If people read the EO they find in point 7 the magic words,

    The criminal penalties specified in… …related to persons who knowingly release or posses information about Medi-Cal beneficiaries are suspended as applied to healthcare providers [et al]…

Are realy quite worrying, as is the lack of time limits, sunset clauses or any mechanisum specified by which this EO would be terminated when “the emergancy” is over…

So in theory unlimited and endless supply to the likes of Peter Thiel’s Palantir system, which could then feed the info onto any other of Palantir’s customers…

The polite way to describe this is “neglegently opening the stable door…” played to the refrain of “distant hoof beats”.

Andy April 16, 2020 1:30 PM

Allowing providers to safely contact patients is a big issue. HHS has also issued guidance suggesting that good-faith efforts by providers to communicate with patients using consumer grade telecom software such as FaceTime and Skype would be acceptable during the crisis.

As a security person supporting providers on the front lines of this crisis, that’s fine with me. We have enough sick providers as it is.

–Andy

gordo April 16, 2020 1:33 PM

@ Clive Robinson,

Palantir’s customers…

Ah, that bastardized invisible hand of the market; hoofbeats and all.

David Leppik April 16, 2020 1:54 PM

In my experience, HIPAA regulations are the most laxly enforced security rules. Medical professionals tend to see HIPAA as a bureaucratic barrier to providing life-saving services, and computer security as something as strange and inscrutably complicated as the endocrine system is to me. As a result, they follow the letter of the law but rarely actually require vendors to do anything more than make hand-wavy claims about compliance. (And then there’s the Mayo Clinic, which breaks websites with over-restrictive firewall rules.)

Behind this is a calculus that people who do pure I.T. security don’t get: doctors aren’t bluffing when they say that regulations can kill. Right now in California there are doctors who don’t have the time or knowledge to also act as a help desk for patients who desperately need re-authorization of a prescription. Doctors also aren’t lawyers, so they want a blanket assurance that they don’t have to worry about their understanding of the law or software security if the only way they know to deliver health care is via Zoom.

BTW, Zoom’s HIPAA statement is laughably naive. They claim they don’t have access to any private patient information because they don’t ask for it. As if video streams and chat logs never contain personal information.

La Abeja April 16, 2020 3:31 PM

Key takeaway:

relaxes various telehealth reporting requirements, penalties, and enforcements otherwise imposed under state laws, including those associated with unauthorized access and disclosure of personal information through telehealth mediums

The bright side of this state executive order is that the relaxation of enforcement of state regulations serves to provide further justification for prosecuting doctors to the fullest extent of federal law and punishing them into compliance with federal rules and regulations which govern the practice of medicine in a context of interstate commerce involving federal funding or federally mandated insurance coverage.

https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/white-collar-crime/health-care-fraud/health-care-fraud-news

Alejandro April 16, 2020 3:44 PM

I signed up for telemedicine with my doctor and downloaded the app.

Right off the bat, I find the app proudly announces they are using google analytics to ‘improve’ their service. Meanwhile, I actually read most of the single spaced multi-page privacy statement. It’s the usual lawyer double-speak essentially TELLING you every single bit and byte of the visit can be used for any reason they want. As far as I know, there are no state or federal laws actually protecting my privacy or medical data. Frankly, I think that’s the way it is and will be.

We all know Google is drooling, and spending millions of dollars, to source medical data to be used for marketing purposes. I am sure everyone here is familiar with Project Nightingale as proof. Among other stuff.

When the receptionist called to make sure I was on board, I told her while I am a huge fan of telemedicine, because of the involvement with google and the horrible privacy statement I will delete the app and decline telemedicine after the current crisis has passed.

Too bad. I really, really, like the idea.

Clive Robinson April 16, 2020 3:46 PM

@ gordo,

hoofbeats and all.

The question is,

    Will the Government act whilst the hoofbeats can still be heard and the horseshoe marks can still be seen…

Otherwise that data will become such that it’s nolonger tracable back to the “knowing release”…

Whilst nrither instantly or infinitely “copyable” most data might as well be in human terms, and with data agregation laws being the way they are in the US COVID-19 may in the future may not be temembered for the appling loss of life, but as the defining moment when society forever changed for the worst.

Once upon a time Pandora was created and given a box[1] to keep, it’s lid was firmly closed however it got lifted briefly and before the lid was brought down every thing that would ail mankind escaped leaving “hope” alone fore ever trapped…

There is a moral behind the tale,

Malo accepto stultus sapit

Thus how much do we citizens have to suffer in order for politicians finally to learn to be wise?..

[1] Actually an “urn” the same as is still used today to hold the mortal remains of the departed. As both Padora and her urn were made of clay some saw her symbolicaly as being the container from which sprouted all of “mans ills” much as with Eve and the apple she plucked. There are many religious examples of where “woman brings man low” which presumably were invented to give men a position above women who’s duty was seen as to raise children into the faith, befor the children had the whit or wisdom to see the faith for what it was… And it would still like to be again, because at heart religion has always been about abusive control, it lost power as kings did as they had to cede power to those who sort control in other ways, hence the politicians of today replaced both King and Church.

Clive Robinson April 16, 2020 3:53 PM

@ La Abeja,

The bright side of this state executive order is that the relaxation of enforcement of state regulations serves to provide further justification for prosecuting doctors to the fullest extent of federal law and punishing them into compliance with federal rules and regulations

You’ve not read the EO have you?

Because if you had you would read that the EO was in response to a Federal Agency dropping regulations (see sixth “whereas”).

Clive Robinson April 16, 2020 4:17 PM

@ Alejandro,

We all know Google is drooling, and spending millions of dollars, to source medical data to be used for marketing purposes. I am sure everyone here is familiar with Project Nightingale as proof. Among other stuff.

It was not called “Project Nightingale” that was made up by a journalist to describe a whole group of projects going on in Google, and most of it is not for “marketing purposes” but to take over from Drs etc via AI…

As for the “Among other stuff” if you have a look at the bottom of this BBC news item,

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-50388464

You will see that Google has already “tried it on” in the UK and got it’s knuckles rapped[1] (but unfortunately no real meaningfull punishment).

The UK Government in their ultra neo-liberal ways are absolutly desperate to sell off all the UK citizens medical records without the citizen’s permission. Whilst I can make a guess at how big the brown envelopes are to the politicians and their parties, and how Big Phama and others will profit by it… I’ve still to see any real let alone significant advantage to any UK citizen outside that bunch of cronies. All I’m hearing is in effect “fairtales of a golden future” which history tells us has so little chance of happening they’ve not invented a number small enough to express the probability in…

[1] Which you might have thought would have woken them up from their trollish knuckle dragging ways… But possibly not because the UK Gov has gone with Peter Thiels even worse abomination Palantir…

gordo April 16, 2020 7:00 PM

@ Clive Robinson,

Will the Government act whilst the hoofbeats can still be heard and the horseshoe marks can still be seen…

With their ‘good faith’ order California has let go the reins.

how much do we citizens have to suffer in order for politicians finally to learn to be wise?..

The scale of both job and health insurance coverage loss will be telling.

COVID-19 may in the future may not be temembered for the appling loss of life, but as the defining moment when society forever changed for the worst.

Maybe COVID-19 will one day be remembered for the repurposing of shuttered hospitals as coronavirus hospitals.

La Abeja April 16, 2020 8:06 PM

@Clive Robinson

Because if you had you would read that the EO was in response to a Federal Agency dropping regulations (see sixth “whereas”).

Let’s take a look at that.

WHEREAS … the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance (“Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote Communications During the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency,” available at https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/emergency-preparedness/notification-enforcement-discretion-telehealth/index.html ) …

We get to the “take care” clause of the U.S. Constitution. The President “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.”

Trump has more or less effectively decommissioned the aforementioned Office for Civil Rights along with other offices of inspectors general of other departments by his own executive action.

Enforcement in certain cases of health care fraud does appear to have reverted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation “at large” in its capacity as a “catch-all” investigative and prosecutorial agency for serious organized crimes of a non-military jurisdiction in the United States.

Drone April 16, 2020 10:41 PM

“…will not impose penalties for noncompliance with regulatory requirements imposed under the HIPAA Rules…” “The criminal penalties specified in… …related to persons who knowingly release or posses information about Medi-Cal beneficiaries are suspended as applied to healthcare providers [et al]…”

Now I’m not going to use Telemedicine any more. Who knows if the service provider is in California or not? Heck, just having packets pass through California is risky now.

Do Not let these Hippie airheads take over our nation’s health care system!

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons April 17, 2020 12:58 AM

The problem with the asymptotic vectors for this pathogen, it is not just the ease of transmission, but the difficultly in detection of contagious hosts using proximity as the determinate. Testing under RT or Q PCR does not produce reliable results…ask any well educated virologist what’s problematic with RNA virus testing for SAR-CoV-2 pathogens.

Why focus on the virus and not the antibody, virology has yet to ascribe an anti-body exposure model that can both identify the presence in, and the absence of (don’t have any idea how many healthy people, never had symptoms, where infected, a carrier, was virulent, and produced no anti-bodies, and never presented as unwell). Why do think they’re hosing everything down Wuhan! We are just so freakin’ sub-atomically particulate, not the proton–but it rhymes.

You’ll not like the answer, hint–what does the “in vitro” model resemble, versus and compared to what is “in vivo” modality? Not enough space here to complete the picture but I will give it a partial go…but for now reference the recent findings from the Theodore Roosevelt–thank you Captain! Guess they have to recommission the carrier, the USS Petri Dish.

Without sufficient testing, one person (asymptomatic for up to 14 days, with some as much as 21–outliers) in an infrequent circumstance, where R0 ~= 2.3 – 2.5, in serial contact expressed as 5 days, and if that one person comes into contact via 10 others, a new set of COVID positives that are unexpressed will be 125 new cases. Given the huge number of unknown carriers, reinfection, and with varying degrees of serial exposure–TILT. Meaning there is no way to baseline local or regional exposure data against any mapped or unmapped persons, AND, provide ANY MEANINGFUL MITIGATION OR POSSIBLE CONTAINMENT.

If 20% of those 125 are also asymptomatic then next infected set base number is approximately 230, and we recompute. That results in 1400 new cases @ day 15, and in another week and a day will be 56,437. Skipping ahead to day 30; 1.2M cases, fatal 100K and 30K critical. Continuing with the linear, simple pathogen presentation model out to day sixty (this is important, things break here–badly; 4.75M cases, 900K fatal, 275K critical/ICU. Bonus prize, testing at day 60 will require 2.9M units per 5 days and stabilize but that is with accurate trace and contagious identification (tell me where ya going to get RT/Q PCR reagent?). Current testing is out at the end of the amplification threshold.

THESE ARE APPROXIMATE METRICS FOR MITIGATION, WITH CONTAINMENT SLOPING DOWN (LINEAR) IN PARALLEL

These many-to-many case mappings become impossible to address at scale with any moderately sized population/density; even with a a robust supply chain. Whomever is smokin’ whatever, even if holy water, they should stop it.

China showed the way, people were locked down in their homes. Never passing the door, if necessary they were physically locked down (think manacles). That’s for the suspected and known with behavioral issues…people where taken down and locked away in more than a few cases. Here; I say start with Texas and see where you get. Unless of course you can put a wall around the state.

I BELIEVE THE AMA IS FINALLY RESPONDING TO THE FACTS! BUT THEY NEED TO GET IN FRONT OF THIS NOW.

THE POINT PERSON FOR THE ADMINISTRATION IS EFFECTIVELY UNDER PATRONAGE TO THE KING. (I believe the Jester to be a body double of the king).

JonKnowsNothing April 17, 2020 1:15 AM

@Drone

re:

just having packets pass through California is risky now

I think the NSA routes packets through any friendly international country and then re-mirrors it back to the USA. I’m not sure the current configurations but they were routed through Canada and UK, and likely other members of the 5EYs. If your packet originates outside of the US one of the old hubs was in Miami. I dunno if they still use that one but I wouldn’t very think much has changed. If they can route it on a sea cable well, Bob’s Your Uncle and world+dog has a clamp on those. Satellite routes are just bread n butter or marmite depending on your accent.

I’m not sure how many Hippies it takes to reroute something, but it takes just a few Oligarchs to make money from it.

The USA doe not have a “health care system”. We have For Profit Health Care that you pay to access. Medicare is not free, you pay for that when you are working. After you retire, you keep paying for it. You can pick any For Profit Health Care Provider you like, as long as you pay for it and as long as you do not exceed your lifetime allotment of medical care or fall into other excluded areas such as No Treatment for Conditions XYZ.

If you are working, you might have a heath-care-package from your employer which is only good as long as you stay employed, regardless of how obnoxious the boss is or how much harassment you experience. Once you leave, you leave your health care behind. Oh you might be offered the COBRA option but once you see the price tag… well… not on unemployment benefits.

ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolidated_Omnibus_Budget_Reconciliation_Act_of_1985

a law passed by the U.S. Congress on a reconciliation basis and signed by President Ronald Reagan that, among other things, mandates an insurance program which gives some employees the ability to continue health insurance coverage after leaving employment.

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

65535 April 17, 2020 6:18 AM

@ all

For those poster who see the huge potential for abuse I agree.

There are no real bounds for medical spying, video spying, phone spying and business record spying including all transactions. All of this zoom/facetime data and so on will probably end up in the Utah data repository – if not the entire world wide internet repositories of all types in many countries.

This is a good example of a bad example of extreme authoritarian medical orders. These wide and sweeping government Federal/state “Medical executive orders” are turning in real abuse and most likely real trouble.

I does look like the USA is another step closer to quasi marshal law or pure martial law [military law for all civilians]. How we have gotten here via a theoretical convid19 pandemic – yet to be differentiated between the seasonal flu and true covid19. I never saw a defined “sunset” for Newsom’s executive order. This is not good.

When some one has a hard facts on the actual deaths caused by “seasonal flu” in the USA in the last four months please post a link to it. I only find testimonial items or estimates.

I see no medical reason to attempt to create a covid19 “treatment, cure or vaccine” using garbage-in-garbage out medical data… except for economic or political gain for a number of money players.

Drone April 17, 2020 9:06 AM

@JonKnowsNothing… What a fitting moniker.

  • You said: “I think the NSA routes packets through any friendly international country and then re-mirrors it back to the USA.”

I say: What the heck does the NSA have to do with this? Nobody in this thread mentioned the NSA.

  • You said: “Satellite routes are just bread n butter or marmite…”

I say: I find Marmite to be too bitter. Now Vegemite with a bit of full cream butter on whole grain toast, that’s the ticket… Yum!

  • You said: “The USA doe[s] not have a “health care system”, blah, blah, blah…

I say: A ‘System’ is an inter-working of individual elements, prefferably with some form of stable feedback. That is exactly what health care is in the U.S. is. Unfortunately the U.S. system is weakest in those States that practice Progressive-Marxism – like California.

I used to own and run a comfortably profitable U.S. Limited Liability Corporation that was for the most-part operating in Asia (not China). Almost all profits went back to the U.S., and my foreign customers were happy to buy my unique expertise and products – both of which were not otherwise available in the region.

All of that came to an end with the advent of Obamacare (a Progressive push for a Socialist-Marxist ‘Single-Payer’ health care system). Overnight Obamacare made my current global health insurance company (an excellent provider out of the Netherlands) NULL AND VOID as a provider in the U.S. As a result I had to negotiate and pay for two separate insurance plans, one for global coverage (ex-U.S.), and one for coverage in the U.S. The crushing insurance premiums were too much to endure. I closed my foreign offices. Business has never been the same. Everyone loses – except for the Progressive-Marxist Elites in Washington D.C.

Clive Robinson April 17, 2020 9:43 AM

@ 65535,

When some one has a hard facts on the actual deaths caused by “seasonal flu” in the USA in the last four months please post a link to it. I only find testimonial items or estimates.

The reason is the figures are not real for various reasons, so nobody can produce anything other than “guestimates”.

What we do know is that this year in the UK and US the number of recorded deaths during flu season were lower by 10-15% than the previous five year average death rate. However come the end of march the UK death rate was twice that of the five year average and rising with a recognisable curve. Whilst not yet on the five to eleven times as seen in parts of Italy and Spain we are heading towards it. I suspect the same can be said for New York.

What has supprised me is California I was expecting parts of it to become “cities of the damned” due to the high levels of “street people” and overly dense living in and around the high tech areas. But apparently according to official figures that has not –yet?– happened.

So realistically as a “novel virus” if it gets to run free in a community with either no, saturated, or unavailable to the poor healthcare you are looking at an appaling death rate.

If you look at the WorldOmeter web sight it is currently showing,

Infectead : 2.183452M
Closed cases : 694.639k (32%)

Of which the closed cases comprise of,

Recovered : 547.792k (79%)
Fatalities : 146.847k (21%)

In effect the fatalities are running at 7% of todays totals, but they were infected around six weeks ago, and the recovered are running at 26% of todays totals but they were infected about four weeks ago.

If you compare those figures with those at the times they became recorded they would be a lot lot worse. In the UK about 49% who go into ICU / CCU do not come out alive.

All of these figures are quite a bit worse than the seasonal flu figures.

We will only be able to aproximate the COVID-19 caused deaths in the future, untill then as I point out from time to time we need to use the “excess deaths” figures to get a reasonable “running number”. As I’ve said the excess death figures are high a lot lot higher –currently over twice– than the flu related deaths over a five year average, and getting worse daily…

I would expect the same for the US and France and any other nation with low testing rates…

Will it get to the five to eleven times the five year average that Italy and Spain have seen in some places I realy hope not. Further there should be no excuse as the “social issolation” should take five weeks to see a real decrease in reported cases and seven to nine weeks to see a real drop in fatalities, provided healthcare is availavle to all and does not become saturated.

But that is the two big issues are,

1, Effective issolation.
2, Available Healthcare.

If either become untrue then the cases will take a lot lot longer to drop and the fatalities will keep growing for a long time to come.

The piecemeal approach to both in the US does not bode well, which brings in another consideration,

3, Panic migration.

If figures are low in one part of the country, and high in another you will see people move from what they see as a “high risk area” to a “low risk area” rather than die…

The problem is the 50% of population is asymptomatic. That is some significant percentage of the migrants will be actively shedding virus, thus will cause new “community spread” in the “low risk areas” that very probably will not be capable of handling the load on their healthcare system. Thus the death rate can be expected to rise higher than it would have otherwise done by quite a margin. The thing is that the migrants maybe “killing themselves” in the process. By the time an area becomes high risk the lag in the healthcare system will have started being addressed, whilst the healthcare in the low risk area will be way further back down the curve… Thus instead of being in an area where resources are being added at a significant rate, thus healthcare is available and increasingly so, they will move into an area where healthcare is about to saturate and become unavailable untill the additional resources can become available upto a month or so down the line…

Clive Robinson April 17, 2020 10:57 AM

@ Drone, JonKnowsNothing,

Business has never been the same. Everyone loses – except for the Progressive-Marxist Elites in Washington D.C.

Rather than insult people because of your somewhat biased viewpoint I would suggest you stop looking at “effect” and inventing an unrelated enemy, and actually look at the real causes.

The simple fact is that the US healtcare system is grossly inefficient and has rules favouring Big Pharma that the rest of the world does not. This has been true since well before Barack Obama even entered politics.

I’m told the cost of traditional US insutance is two to three times that of any comparable First World Nation and you get very very little for the $16,000 for a single person. In fact it’s only not gone uo by 5-8% this year due to the quite dabgerous practice of AI assisted “Telemedicine” which is almost certainly going to up the death rate over the next few years, which will no doubt please the insurance companies.

Which brings us onto the inefficience in the US healthcare system and why it fails or cheats in other countries. This falls fair and square on the insurance providers who quite deliberatly manipulated the Healthcare issue, very greatly to their vastly increased profits.

There is a good reason why all infrastructure is designed to be paid for socially and it’s the reason why your telecommunications bill in real terms is an incredibly small fraction of what it was back in the 1980’s through 90’s and why they faught and are still fighting like the energy industry to have regulation to stop new entrants in their market place.

If everyone “pays the same price” to a central fund then the eye wateringly expensive administration effectively disapears. Thus the explotative “co-pay” which limits or stops access to generic drugs means not just vastly inflated profits for Big Pharma it also alows the Insurance companies to do some decidedly unethical things thus making the cost to all healthcare buyers eye wateringly expensive.

In the US you pay three times the rate paid in the UK, and that does not get you any more beds or CCU’s than the UK or infact better outcomes despite all the technology. Worse most over retirment age in the US either have no healthcare insurance or it is almost as ineffective as not having a healthcare system. In the UK all get covered no matter what their circumstances. The UK Prime Minister for instance went into St Thomas’s NHS Hospital with his COVID-19 for two reasons despite having private health care. Firstly the expertise for much above minor/routien heakthcare is in the NHS not the private healthcare sector thus his chances of survival were way higher. Secondly because the equipment and facilities in Private Healthcare are little more than “Over priced Hotels” and basically incapable of anything other than lowest common denominator healthcare where some profit can be made. Which is more important when you are in serious need of healthcare, nice rooms fancy food and wine, or highly competent medical staff and the fascilities to give you the most likely successful outcome (UK Private Hospitals are known for shipping even minorly problematic patients out the backdoor into a private ambulance and dumping them into NHS A&E departments, which I guess is slightly better than a hearse).

If you want to see what happens to private Healthcare when it trys ti run a full NHS,hospitsl, rather than “cherry pick” look at Private healthcare company Circle, and how miserably it failed to manage Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire,

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/09/hinchingbrooke-hospital-special-measures-cqc-report

Not only did they haemorrhage money needlessly they were judged across the board to be so bad the diplomatic term “inadiquate” did not in any way meet their failings and the recomendation was “Special Measures” which means that they in effect got booted out of the managment role as those vastly more qualified were “parachuted in” as that was at Circles expense they “jumped ship” as fast as they could.

The simple fact is the NHS is not designed to “make profit” in the way “investors” want to see, because as much as possible of the funding goes into services, not hedge fund managers back pockets.

The reason you had trouble was not Obama care that was just the excuse dreamed up to lie to the US Citizens to stop them looking to see where more than half the money they pay goes to (back pocket profits, lobbying, etc). And the trouble the US is currently in with healthcare, is again not Obama care but those lobyists protecting all those vested interest back pocket profits. The result is a sick country that is in danger of compleatly failing not just economically but socialy as SARS-CoV-2 spreads through community after community because neo-liberals can not do basic maths or worse have a genocidle agenda against those they see as unprofitable…

But if you want to see unethical colusion between US Big Phama and US Healthcare Insurers look into what is called “Biologics” these are new often of dubious efficacy compared to existing often generic drugs and priced so highly that their very small percentage usage takes about half the health insurance budjet…

Jaime April 20, 2020 6:53 AM

Everyone here worried about California, you can stop. HIPAA itself made an equivalent change back in March. Since California has a lot of laws that duplicate (and usually go beyond) federal laws, they needed to make a similar relaxment in order to allow their providers to take advantage of the federal rule change. In this case, California is the last to make this change, not the first.

https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/emergency-preparedness/notification-enforcement-discretion-telehealth/index.html

Ted Heise April 20, 2020 7:08 AM

@clive – good observations

@jaime – thanks for posting that HHS link, I had missed it

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