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Crosstalk: November 21, 2017

Twila Brase is the president and co-founder of the Citizens Council for Health Freedom, a patient-centered national health freedom organization existing to protect health care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights. Twila is also the speaker on the daily, Health Freedom Minute.

This edition of Crosstalk began with Twila commenting on HIPAA. Twila gave a presentation to the National Physician Council of Health Care Policy on patient policy and she shared her concerns.

Many people believe that HIPPA actually protects privacy. In her presentation she gave a history as to how we've lost privacy and how HIPAA actually opens up the medical records. Also discussed at the event was the topic of who owns patient data. Twila found that there were doctors who thought they own patient data. Others thought it belonged to the patient and doctors are just the steward of it.

Then there was the issue of HIPAA forms. Since there's only one signature, the patient can feel like they have to sign the forms in order to be treated, yet they give away all their privacy rights in the process. A pathologist got up and said she had no idea what kind of consent form the patient signed before blood, urine or tissue arrive in her lab. As far as she was concerned, they can do anything they want with such samples, even sequence them.

Last week the White House named Alex Azar as its new nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, replacing Tom Price. Twila noted that Alex is from the pharmaceutical industry. He's not a physician, but seems to be more of an individual who operates 'by the book'. This doesn't mean that once he's in office he won't be able to see that there are things that are causing doctors to want to leave the practice of medicine at a time when 10,000 baby-boomers are entering Medicare every day. Twila is wondering whether he will see 'the danger in the air'.

Have you ever heard that someone was told, 'Get the flu shot or you're fired.' What's Twila's advice for that situation? If you're threatened like that, she recommends contacting an attorney, your legislator as well as your attorney general and governor's office. She recommends this because once the government gets to decide the health plans and hospital systems for you and that you must comply regarding shots, then we're at a dangerous point because then no one can reject having a foreign substance put in their body.

Also discussed was the House passage of a 1.5 trillion dollar tax cut plan, the individual mandate, options for those who don't want to be part of Obamacare and at the same time want to avoid a penalty when filling out their taxes, and much more.

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