Selling my medical privacy for $5?

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Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby nisiprius » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:35 pm

I happen to fill my prescriptions at a CVS/Pharmacy because it happens to be convenient, and I already have their "rewards card" etc. They recently started to offer a so-called "Pharmacy and Health Rewards" deal that gives me a $5 rebate for every 10 prescriptions I fill. Naturally I figured "why not," since I'm filling my prescriptions there anyway. I got to a web screen saying "You're almost there," which asked me to agree to one small agreement.

Now on another part of their website they say:
Image

OK, I understand and don't mind that their rewards program needs to know that I've filled a prescription in order to figure out when I've filled ten so it can give me my five bucks. I don't know why it would need to know any other details beyond that.

But what the heck is that line buried in their about "my health information may potentially be re-disclosed and thus is no longer protected by the federal Privacy Rule?"

What exactly are they saying here? What does "re-disclosed" mean? Who is going to "re-disclose it" and why? Are they saying their pharmacy division doesn't trust their rewards division to comply with HIPAA? Or is this just a complicated way of saying "forget what we said elsewhere on the website, that was a little white lie. In return for $5, we are buying the right to use all your medical information any darn way we please?"

Boldface mine:
Welcome to ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards™! With this new ExtraCare benefit, you can earn up to $50 in Pharmacy & Health ExtraBucks Rewards™ annually for every member of your household who enrolls in the program. The purpose of this authorization is to allow CVS/pharmacy to record prescription earnings for each person; and because your privacy is of the utmost importance to us, this authorization explains how CVS/pharmacy uses and protects your information.

HIPAA Authorization

I hereby authorize CVS/pharmacy® and its affiliates to share my prescription and other health service records, including my email address, with the ExtraCare® program to enroll me in and administer the ExtraCare Pharmacy and Health RewardsTM program, and to inform me of new programs I may be interested in.

I understand that (1) my treatment, payment for treatment and eligibility for benefits does not depend on my signing this authorization; (2) once I sign this authorization, under law, my health information may potentially be re-disclosed and thus is no longer protected by the federal Privacy Rule; (3) I have the right to cancel this authorization at any time by calling 1-800-ShopCVS or at http://www.cvs.com/rxrewards, but that my cancellation will not apply to any action that CVS has already taken based on this authorization before then; and (4) I am entitled to a copy of this authorization once signed by me.

Unless I cancel it before then, this authorization will expire one (1) year from today.
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby HueyLD » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:47 pm

Nisi,

AFAIK, prescriptions that are funded by federal programs (such as Medicare, FEHB, Tricare, Medicaid) are not eligible for any store reward program. In addition, $5 is not a good reason to give up one's medical privacy.
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby ejvyas » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:50 pm

these days all health care related institutions are getting really paranoid and adding HIPAA and "new law" provisions (or whatever they call it) everywhere.They just want to make sure they have covered HIPAA and these provisions without trying to understand what they mean.

Same with insurance companies like United HealthCare and some large lab networks. I was made to sign documents that basically dont mean anything as their website is showing all the so called protected data :-)
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby obgraham » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:54 pm

Well every "reward card" that I know of uses the information they can glean from your spending habits to develop marketing, and sell you more stuff.
So though I have over a dozen grocery store "loyalty cards", the information can only be traced to some guy with a strange name who certainly is not me. And they sell this data all over the place.
But health care is different, and the HIPPY rules require you to give them a specific waiver. And then you can assume they'll treat it just like the grocery store.
Only you can decide if you care who knows that you buy your ED meds by the 500-pill bottle!
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby johnubc » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:02 pm

I would not sign it. What they are doing - and many of the Free Rx Discount cards - is going to sell your Rx information to third party marketers. It is not the same as signing a HIPAA disclosure for the billing side of the business.
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby likegarden » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:33 pm

Johnubc wrote : " is going to sell your Rx information to third party marketers ".

Funny, recently I received a phone call, and two people were still on my phone answering machine and said to each other: "so we bought this data for this guy here, and he is not answering his phone." Yes, we are not answering our phone to any marketer who 'bought us'. We also rarely read advertising mail, throw it out after blackening out our names and address.
So, some people must answer phone calls and read ads to make buying that Rx information about them worth it.
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby Calm Man » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:12 pm

Nisi, I wouldn't. One suggestion I have is to get one pharmacy (I use Wegman's where they do not have an insurance information or any info on you other than your name and whenever possible use the generic program and pay in cash. It makes me feel good. Also, what is weird is that Wegman's where I live gives free generic Lipitor for the next year. But back to the question: I would never give away this privacy information. It cannot result in anything good and you can afford the $5 savings.
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby serbeer » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:12 pm

Hm, Dominicks (aka Safeway) pharmacies have stamp card program that does not have any strings whatsoever attached. Simply carry a papercard they give you, you get it stamped once for every prescription filled, and once you have all 10 stamps, they exchange it for Dominicks $10 gift card. No agreements to sign, nothing.
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby Scooter57 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:34 pm

They sell your data to big drug companies who then analyze prescribing patterns to figure out which doctors are not yet prescribing their new and expensive drugs. Then they can target them for heavier sales pitches.

This is as known practice and a very effective one. Hard on the patients who get moved to more expensive, often riskier drugs, but very profitable for big pharma.
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby nisiprius » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:36 pm

Don't worry, I'm not going to do it.
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby cheese_breath » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:58 pm

I just learned about this plan yesterday when I was picking up some prescriptions for my wife. At first this looked like a good deal since she needs 4-5 prescriptions each month. I passed since she is mostly home bound, and getting her in there to sign the HIPAA notice could be a hassle. After reading the above posts I'm glad I did.
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby HardKnocker » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:15 pm

They want to be able to send you emails for Viagra.
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby cheese_breath » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:16 pm

HardKnocker wrote:They want to be able to send you emails for Viagra.

They already do that.
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby Mrs.Feeley » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:33 pm

I get prescriptions for my dogs filled at a local grocery pharmacy with a similar rewards program. The vet puts the prescriptions in my name. I can only imagine what sort of information about me is floating around in databases. "Holy cow that woman has a lot of yeasty ear infections!"
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby cheese_breath » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:48 pm

Mrs.Feeley wrote:I get prescriptions for my dogs filled at a local grocery pharmacy with a similar rewards program. The vet puts the prescriptions in my name. I can only imagine what sort of information about me is floating around in databases. "Holy cow that woman has a lot of yeasty ear infections!"

Not to mention fleas and ticks. :P
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:26 pm

"A Shaolin monk does not sell himself for a handfull of rice."
-- Kung Fu (television show pilot)
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby VictoriaF » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:16 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:"A Shaolin monk does not sell himself for a handfull of rice."
-- Kung Fu (television show pilot)


After the dot-com bubble burst, a popular cartoon was a picture of a hobo in a cardboard with the text "We write requirements for food."

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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby Random Musings » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:35 pm

nisiprius wrote:Don't worry, I'm not going to do it.


I thought it was a joke. Nisiprius, trying to score five bucks. Get your meds and then go buy some ripple?

RM
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Re: Selling my medical privacy for $5?

Postby jeffyscott » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:32 pm

ejvyas wrote:these days all health care related institutions are getting really paranoid and adding HIPAA and "new law" provisions (or whatever they call it) everywhere.


Almost as paranoid as those who actually read and worry about what these sorts of documents say. :wink:
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