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You may soon get a call from your doctor if you’ve let your gym membership lapse, made a habit of picking up candy bars at the check-out counter or begin shopping at plus-sized stores.

That’s because some hospitals are starting to use detailed consumer data to create profiles on current and potential patients to identify those most likely to get sick, so the hospitals can intervene before they do. The largest hospital chain in the Carolinas is plugging data for 2 million people into algorithms designed to identify high-risk patients, while Pennsylvania’s biggest system uses household and demographic data. Patients and their advocates, meanwhile, say they’re concerned that big data’s expansion into medical care will hurt the doctor-patient relationship and threaten privacy. The health system is placing its data, which include purchases a patient has made using a credit card or store loyalty card, into predictive models that give a risk score to patients. Within the next two years, Dulin plans for that score to be regularly passed to doctors and nurses who can reach out to high-risk patients to suggest interventions before patients fall ill.

Acxiom Corp. (ACXM) and LexisNexis are two of the largest data brokers who collect such information on individuals. They say their data are supposed to be used only for marketing, not for medical purposes or to be included in medical records.
While both sell to health insurers, they said it’s to help those companies offer better services to members. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, hospital pay is becoming increasingly linked to quality metrics rather than the traditional fee-for-service model where hospitals were paid based on their numbers of tests or procedures.

It’s pretty obvious where this is heading. This is a final wake-up call to you cashless society idiots.



  1. Tommy says:

    Dang, does this mean I need to start paying my meth dealer in cash?

  2. Scott M. says:

    Reach out my ***. This is a reach IN…to the pockets of those who fall outside the statistically ideal so that additional premiums can be collected to increase profits.

    It is a reach AROUND…because you really didn’t think loyalty cards were a merchant’s way of keeping your business – did you? Your data was sold for a profit.

    Any number that can be tied to your name is another leash which will be used to control you.

  3. reader says:

    Today the tyrant rules not by club or fist, but, disguised as a market researcher, he shepherds his flocks in the ways of utility and comfort.
    Marshall McLuhan (1911-80), Canadian communications theorist. The Mechanical Bride, Preface (1951).

    Got cream? http://tomfishburne.com/2014/04/big-data-analytics.html

  4. Mc Phee says:

    Hippa violation

    • pedro says:

      First of all, it’s hipaa, not hippa (health insurance portability and accountability act)

      Nope! It would be a hipaa violation if the doctors/hospitals/insurers were disclosing patient data, not by collecting patient data. In fact, patient data collection is one of the raison d’etre of hipaa

      • Tim says:

        ^^ The nonsensical ravings of a lunatic mind…

        • pedro says:

          And that’s why you’re oblivious to the issue and thus, part of the problem.

          How’s your oy!Phone 5S working? Are you happy with the data it shares with merchants everytime you go into a store?

          • Tim says:

            I got tired of paying too much for a guy to dress up in a suit and listen to me talk on the phone back in 2003…

      • MikeN says:

        No, he got it right. The national health care ID card is part of that too.

  5. reader says:

    New Yorkers who bought insurance from the state health exchange could see big price hikes next year.
    http://www.wnyc.org/story/rates-could-yo-yo-insurance-exchange-head-2015/
    Yo-yo’s running for office in 2016, which will throw rates all out of wack with everybody making outrageous promises aka lies because that beats having stability.

    “I mean, television, for example, it’s a drug, it has a series of measurable physiological parameters that are as intrinsically its signature as the parameters of heroin are its signature. You sit somebody down in front of a TV set, and turn it on, 20 minutes later, come back, sample their blood pressure, their eye movement rate, blood is pooling in their rear end, their breathing takes on a certain quality. The stare reflex sets in, I mean, they are thoroughly zoned on a drug, and when you think about the fact that the average American watches 6 and a half hours of television a day, imagine if a drug had been introduced in 1948, that we all spent 6 and a half hours per day on average watching. ”

    With less blood in their heads and full of fear you drag the zombies out to vote. Technology has sent the price of most things plunging. Labor cost, down. Genius is cheap. Moore’s Law and more computer bang for less buck. Leave it to politicians and racketeers to increase healthcare costs. They made Iraq more affordable-if you are dead. We lost the war on TV in the 60’s. This is on the second loss on the Internet. Make peace more expensive. Light your hair on fire to save on razor blades. The new jets catch on fire without getting into combat. The F is for Fire. This will add extras to the contract. If you aren’t irate you will be.

    • Tim says:

      “”You sit somebody down in front of a TV set, and turn it on, 20 minutes later, come back, sample their blood pressure, their eye movement rate, blood is pooling in their rear end, their breathing takes on a certain quality.

      Are you talking about unhealthily prolific posters to Dvorak Uncensored, or ebola??

  6. reader says:

    Fifteen California medical professionals were charged in a $25 million scheme involving a firm that hired pharmacists to produce a pain-relief cream and gave kickbacks to doctors and chiropractors to prescribe it and submit phony claims from October 2009 to January 2013. – Associated Press

    It took “big data” four years to catch on? It’s only $25 million. Honorary degrees are for chiropractors, real estate agents and presidents. The degree of fraud keeps growing. Nobody seems to notice and the checks keep going out. They are going to track your purchases instead of their fraud.

  7. dusanmal says:

    It is not “just beginning” … It is long term Google business plan. And it is not just insurance and health insurance. It is a method to disempower customer and destroy free market based on customer power. End result, every price for everything calculated “just for you” and no, not as a best deal for you but as maximum you can pay. Fraction of which goes from seller to Google for their data on everyone. Fascist marketplace in which population loses quality of life and purchasing power.
    Side issue is that it also empowers BigGovernment fascism against population.

    • reader says:

      Maybe if we have Google controlled by government like China we’ll be more like North Korea. We can make spores drink with magic mushrooms. At least we stopped Iraq before there was a mushroom cloud and proof.

      Now everybody is conspiring and nobody can remember what the conspiracy was about. You’ll always have government and it’ll always be bad. All the more reason you need robots. It’s a robot revolution. They are bring down the cost of government. We can help them.

  8. reader says:

    Big Brother? Chicago to measure pedestrians’ movements USA Today

    The project, called “Array of Things,” has the potential for far-reaching applications. City spends millions a week producing 0. This will create the new Detroit. Broke down slums with censor networks and a propertyless dependent class paying for wars using prepaid government issued phones. Your health care is going up 20% next year with fewer doctors in network because there’s more fraud in network. They make donations for the races though, so it is acceptable fraud. You ain’t getting more health care, you are just getting more bureaucracy, plus the array of things, whatever that means. Iraq is in disarray and there’s where your money went.

    Get up in one of our industrial centres today and say that two and two make four, and if there is any financial interest concerned in maintaining that two and two make five, the police will bash your head in. Then what choice have you, save to degenerate either into a fool or into a hypocrite? And who wants to live in a land of fools and hypocrites?

    At least the warriors that died had the opportunity to live to rid the world of fools and hypocrites. We are all better for it. Since we are now broke there are no financial interest. Two and two might as well be six. Gas is going to be $6 a gallon. Middle east instability driving up cost of driving.

    • ± says:

      That’s good. I’m going to use that.

      • Tim says:

        Well then, you’re just going to have some copywrite issues, mr. — that bot’s got some pretty mundane stuff to protect.

  9. pedro says:

    I blame the iphone/facebook generation for this by being such self serving idiots

  10. reader says:

    I blame Al-Jazeera. They are marketing for the Americans.

    The American press is all about lies! All they tell is lies, lies and more lies!

    Let the American infidels bask in their illusion.

    As an American infidel basking in illusion I blame the infidel British Guardian.

  11. John E Quantum says:

    My doctor called to tell me I’m consuming too much fiber. My future potential patient profile was a bit low.

  12. STFU! says:

    It seems to me that someone is breaking the LAW here. What’s worse is that I’m sure few lawyers and certainly no one here even knows it. And the few people who do know the law is being broken are clearly only after one thing, despite their claims to be saving peoples lives — they’re in it for the money!

    This practice of data mining might have been acceptable had the “miners” been allowed to remain private (and where a person could choose if he/she even wanted to be a part of the “system”). But now that Obama-care mandates that all citizens have health care coverage, any data mining from any outside source all of a sudden becomes a huge offense to the 4th Amendment.

    And don’t even start me on the HIPAA laws! http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary/privacysummary.pdf

  13. LibertyLover says:

    It’s pretty obvious where this is heading. This is a final wake-up call to you cashless society idiots.

    I went cashless in the late 90s at the behest of my wife. It was easier to see where we were spending our money.

    I’m about to go back.

  14. MikeN says:

    Part of ObamaCare, where you are owned by the government. Hospitals get penalized if they get too many readmissions. Bending the cost curve down is very important, ad the Supreme Court has made clear that freedom is secondary to other government interests. 4 Justices declared they can compel you to buy health insurance, with criminal penalties. The government can then merely require such tracking as part of insurance plans. Just another regulation for the good of society. Business regulations are constitutional, therefore according to at least 4 liberal judges, it is acceptable for the government to require you to purchase insurance that tracks your purchases. They can then add more and more to the regulations, such as requiring you hand over banking and other financial records as a condition of purchasing insurance.

  15. No-Pizza says:

    Just wait until you go into buy a Pizza one day and they say, you can’t have that with Pepperoni and Sausage, your Doctor won’t let you, and we had to give you sugar free coke instead. And no one complains or protest and you see no one in Washington with the balls to stand up and do anything about it. Wake Up America, it won’t be America much longer.

    • Tim says:

      Ohh, it is triggers like this that make being a windup toy fun —

      ordering pizza
      http://youtube.com/watch?v=zFQO7RQOSjA

    • RE@DER says:

      There will be another government shutdown if all that goes down. You start messing with pizza and beer & it’s political suicide. They already have a bunch of scandals to manage and the disaster that’s Iraq. Your pizza is safe even if there’s nothing in the safe. Drought is going to kill some grape growing capacity. Wine at risk.

  16. RE@DER says:

    “OpenBCI is a low-cost, programmable, open-source EEG platform that gives anybody with a computer access to their brainwaves. The project wants to accelerate innovation in brain science through collaborative hardware and software development, and already has a growing community of scientists, engineers, designers, makers, and more behind it.

    Brain-computer interfacing (BCI) is a relatively new field of science, but the potential applications are seemingly endless. Medical grade BCIs are often used in assisting people with damage to their cognitive or sensory-motor functions, while more recent applications have been able to assist people with ADHD, anxiety, phobia, depression, and other common psychological ailments.” http://psfk.com/2013/12/open-source-brain-wave-data.html#!4x9LO

    This is going to lower health care costs and give better outcomes.

  17. jpfitz says:

    Just in the past six months CVS has been calling me to refill a script, they’ll even call the Dr for a refill. I tell him/her no that’s alright, I’ll take care of it myself. Really I am not wanting more of the meds. They just want us drugged to the gills.

    I too have been cashless. No more, especially when purchasing beer and pretzels. I’ll be flagged as a health risk, not that I drink much.

  18. RE@DER says:

    The Borg are a collection of species that have been turned into cybernetic organisms functioning as drones of the Collective, or the hive. A pseudo-race, dwelling in the Star Trek universe, the Borg force other species into their collective and connect them to “the hive mind”; the act is called assimilation and entails violence, abductions, and injections of microscopic machines called nanoprobes. The Borg’s ultimate goal is “achieving perfection”.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borg_%28Star_Trek%29
    You’ll be able to have 3d printed food.
    “We are the Borg. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.”

  19. RE@DER says:

    Spock: We must acknowledge once and for all that the purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis.

    And we are in for a long crisis.

    Losira:
    My Fellow Kalandans.

    Welcome.

    A disease has destroyed us. Beware of it.
    After your long journey, I’m sorry to give you
    only a recorded welcome, but we who have
    guarded the outpost for you will be dead
    by the time you take possession of it.
    I am the last of our advanced force left alive.
    Too late the physicians discovered the cause
    of the sickness that kills us.
    In created this planet, we have accidentally
    produced a deadly organism.
    I have awaited the regular supply ship from
    home for medical assistance, but I doubt
    now whether it will arrive in time.
    I will set the outpost controls on
    automatic. The computer will selectively
    defend against all lifeforms but our own.

    My Fellow Kalandans,

    I, Losira … Wish you well.

  20. RE@DER says:

    Big Education took a big hit in Chicago. The big data project seems doomed. US funding Syrian fighters?

    The school system, custodian of print culture, has no place for the rugged individual. It is, indeed, the homogenizing hopper into which we toss our integral tots for processing.
    Marshall McLuhan (1911-80), Canadian communications theorist. The Gutenberg Galaxy, “Cervantes Confronted Typographic Man in the Figure of Don Quixote” (1962).

    All the rugged indivduals are armed and uneducated. They are going to be processing bodies. That will require big data. No books.

    • Tim says:

      It’s hard to argue with that.

      …And we’d gather in the octagonal, windowless, walls of painted cinderblock, room deep within the bowels of the new addition, and eagerly await the reading of A Wrinkle In Time. I particularly liked the part about the kids and the balls in the big windowless room…

    • Tim says:

      a tintsy weentsy part of my problem is what is this stupid arbitrary number for ‘inebriation’. Umm. Don’t drive even a little bit happy, citizen… Should not *impairment* be obvious?