What can you say when the ONC hired a privacy expert that has worked for a big conglomerate like United to be a privacy expert and has worked on the other side, licensed in California?  Is is that slim pickings to where folks can be hired only from one insurance company out there?  Again I don’t know her and I am following the data and the money as I always do at the Medical Quack.  I would not expect much as a consumer as common sense would tell anyone.  It has been well documented for years in major media about United being one of the bit profiteers with selling consumer data.   It’s been coming out of the pharmacy benefit managers on prescription data for years and get bigger all the time for one source and there’s more. 


ONC_HealthIT 1/3 Lucia Savage, Senior Associate General Counsel at UnitedHealthcare, tapped to be #ONC Chief Privacy Officer #breaking
Tue, Oct 14 06:46:58 from Hootsuite


ONC_HealthIT 3/3 @KBDeSalvo: Savage will join #ONC Oct. 20 and ‘She is ready to hit the ground running.’ #breaking
Tue, Oct 14 06:47:47 from Hootsuite

I have not seen anything official on the web yet except the above tweet and another stating she’s excited to get started.  We all know that consumers have been pretty much left with no privacy.  On legal issues recently I wrote about one of the United lawsuits in California and questioned the defense of the lawyers representing United with lap bands with the statement that the company has to rely on accurate billings from hospitals and doctors, when in fact the company sells truckloads of anti fraud software itself?  Of course I don’t know if this would be her case or not but it’s what’s happening with the series of lawsuits.

Lap Band Surgeries Go Full Circle With Lawsuits–Now United Who’s Being Sued, Files Case Against Company Who Provided the Advertising and Services

"By practical necessity, United must reasonably and in good faith rely on the veracity of the descriptions of the services rendered as stated on the claims form and the amount of the bill submitted by the provider for each service."

United Healthcare Gets Sued Over Refusal To Pay For lap band Pre-Op Evaluations and Actual Surgical Procedures, “Algorithm Says”?

Again I mention the above as it’s part of the United Healthcare legal battles in place in California where Lucia Savage is licensed to practice according to a profile listed on the internet where she is listed as “corporate lawyer”. 

SAS Adds Optum (UnitedHealthcare) Fraud Prevention Algorithms That Includes Social Network Data Mining Analytics To Their Fraud Prevention Framework Software
Ingenix (Optum-United Healthcare) Lawsuits Still Bouncing Around Out There–One Recently Settled in New Jersey With Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield That Was Still Using the Flawed and Corrupt Data Base for Out of Network Payment Calculations

In addition it’s a well known fact that United/Optum are big data sellers and make a lot of money doing it, so again the question arises here on being a privacy chief?  I would say there’s not a lot to look forward too for consumers here, but maybe there’s the other side with people fleeing United too.  Over at CMS the #2 person in charge under Tavenner came from United as well, Andy Slavitt, who was the CEO of Ingenix during the time the AMA sued United/Ingenix for underpaying doctors and patients for 15 years. 

How Hard Did United Have to Lobby To Get Someone In The Deputy Administrator Job at CMS? Sebelius Syndrome Lives On With Burwell, In Good Company With Mary Jo White and Richard Cordray To Name A Couple Others…

Over at HHS we had the recent addition of another lawyer so it sounds like all over at HHS/CMS/ONC are lawyering up? 

Burwell, HHS Secretary Hires A “Legal Banker” From CitiGroup To Do What? Fulfill It’s Mission To Serve the American People?

“Of course we know that we don’t have any real experts anymore either so half dozen of one and six of another, it’s modeling for inequality using segmentation anyway with the “Scoring of America’ that denies access.  As  I said below we are all busy as consumers being chased by corporate profit algorithms all the time with our data by all means and in time the glut will come out as it is beginning to show that all the models are not accurate and many are flawed or just cheat as what happened with the AMA and Ingenix, while the current Andy Slavitt who’s the #2 person  in control now at CMS was CEO over that subsidiary.  If you read the article, Andy Slavitt has officially been forgiven for anything he’s done or will do maybe.   So far the focus has been on the QSSI incident, but how about the AMA suit, he was CEO then of Ingenix…”

Everyone who reads my blog knows I’m privacy advocate by accident basically as I just connect data and money being a former developer I can visualize some of this, just the way I’m wired of sorts.  Recently too I wondered about the direction of the ONC and CMS a bit as have others on the web as we know they are buried with technology complexities when it comes to Meaningful Use and other issues and kind of wondered why the ONC now needs a think tank?

ONC Awards Contract to Create a Health IT Safety Center “Think Tank” For Who Really Knows What…

You can base your own opinions here on what will occur here but I just off facts and history and connect dots here.  You can read below about the report from the World Privacy Forum about “The Secret Scoring of America” and United does plenty of that as we have recently seen with great numbers of doctors being fired who take care of Medicare Advantage patients, and recently even firing a hospital now as far as seeing Medicare Advantage patients. 

World Privacy Forum Report - The Scoring of America: How Secret Consumer Scores Threaten Your Privacy and Your Future - One Big Element that Fuels the Continued Attack of Killer Algorithms & Demise of the Middle Class Creating Profiteering And/Or Denial of Access
Hospital in Indiana Drops United Healthcare As United Dropped The Medicare Advantage Patients…Now It’s Hospital Firing In Addition To Medicare Doctors…

Having been on the other side representing corporate policy what will she do for the ONC with privacy?  Make sure we have even less?  Time will tell.  Again I think the ONC would do well at the FDA to where they already have safety areas and representation of both the clinical and device side working together would be a real win versus what we have now.  Technology development is kind of leading direction, not policy when you look at it.  I did a post back in 2013 that outlined how insurers stay under the radar with creating groups of subsidiaries and if you think insurers just sell insurance, well think again as even United via Optum also sells medical records, CareTracker that’s been around for quite a while and is an ONC certified EMR. 

So again a policy expert that has a background of being a corporate lawyer here and again it’s hard to over look the onslaught of people being hired from United Healthcare as it keeps going and has been somewhat of an revolving door ever since Hillary opened it with hiring Lois Quam, who was the #2 person at United in 2009 at the height of the Derivatives Law Suit where she and the current CEO were also named but were able to work out deal to where the prior CEO took the heat back then.  I think it still might be the highest derivatives fine on record, but don’t quote me. 

If you would like to visit my transparency/privacy campaign to where I am talking about a law needed to require all data sellers to be licensed, follow the link below as it would be nice to have access to see who all the corporate data sellers are in the US, banks, insurers, corporations and what kind of data they sell and to who.  They make billions selling personal data, while at the same time stripping consumers of dignity and freedoms, while we work hard to stay off their radar anymore. 

Privacy/Transparency Campaign – the Need to License All Data Sellers, So We Know Who They Are…

The link below is not conclusive by any means but there’s tons of links to subsidiaries owned by United Healthcare if you want to check it out and see how the company has grown, hiding in plain site for years. 

Health Insurance Business Under the Radar With Tiered Subsidiaries–Where All the Action Takes Place With Mergers, Acquisitions and Profit Centers-Subsidiary Watch

What we really have today in the name of privacy is consumers racing for the exits in the “real world” although if you read the web your are told the opposite and I prefer the real world any day and right now the Ebola crisis is bringing the US government to their knees with having to rethink all their virtual values and once again step inside the “real world”.  So again form your own opinions here on the value of a former corporate lawyer working at the ONC as  privacy expert.  BD  

The Quiet and Unspoken Consumer Movement to Stay Off the Radar - Contrary To All You Read About Sensors, Apps and Wearables, More Folks Are Running for the Exit Doors…


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