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NHS records 'sold to insurers'.

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NHS records 'sold to insurers'.

Post  malena stool on Mon 24 Feb - 10:21

NHS records 'sold to insurers'
By Press Association , Feb 24, 2014
Filed under: Your Rights

http://money.aol.co.uk/2014/02/24/nhs-records-sold-to-insurers/

The medical records of almost 50 million NHS hospital patients have been sold for insurance purposes, it has been reported.

The revelation comes less than a week after controversial plans to share medical records were delayed until later this year.


Both the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) have warned that patients are being kept in the dark about the plans.

A report by a major UK insurance society has disclosed that it was able to obtain 13 years of hospital data - covering 47 million patients - in order to help companies "refine" their premiums, according to the Daily Telegraph.

This resulted in them recommending an increase in the costs of policies for thousands of customers last year, the newspaper said.

The report by the Staple Inn Actuarial Society details how it was able to use NHS data covering all hospital in-patient stays between 1997 and 2010 to track the medical histories of patients, identified by date of birth and postcode.

They were then able to combine these details with information from credit ratings agencies, such as Experian, which record the lifestyle habits of millions of consumers, the newspaper reported.

The calculations were used to advise companies how to refine their premiums, resulting in increased costs for most customers below the age of 50, according to the report dated last March.

The Telegraph says the 274-page report describes the NHS Hospital Episode Statistics as a "valuable data source in developing pricing assumptions for 'critical illness' cover".

A spokeswoman for NHS England said Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) is the name of the information system that has been collecting information from hospital systems since the 1980s.

She said "care.data" is a new initiative commissioned by NHS England from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)and will, when it starts in the Autumn, collect data from general practice and safely link that to hospital data so that services can be improved for patients.

She added: "For care.data, it would be unlawful for person level data to be used for anything other than benefits to patients. Initially these data will only be used for commissioning and planning NHS services.

"No data will be made available for the purposes of selling or administering any kind of insurance.

"NHS England has extended the roll out of care.data to the Autumn so that we can work with partners in the BMA, RCGP and Healthwatch, among many others, to ensure more public awareness and improve assurances that will restrict all future uses of care.data to health and care benefit."

A spokeswoman from the HSCIC said: "The newly formed HSCIC can now only provide HES data to health organisations that are looking to improve the way they are run for the benefit of their patients.

"This data is completely protected and does not identify individuals."

The HSCIC said the data provided was to a not for profit organisation for non-commercial research, and was not used to analyse individual insurance premiums, but to analyse general variances in critical illness.

The output was publicly available, non-identifiable and in aggregate form, it added.

The HSCIC said before April 1 last year, it was not HSCIC that processed HES information, but a predecessor body, adding that the current body was established with different functions and under and subject to different legal provisions.

It said additional criteria is currently applied so that the use of data requested needs to be for benefit to health and social care system.

This was about "prevalence of certain conditions among certain age groups to ensure premiums were fair", the HSCIC said, adding that it was "not used to calculate individual premiums".

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Re: NHS records 'sold to insurers'.

Post  malena stool on Mon 24 Feb - 10:24

This puts 'Telephone Hacking' in the shade as far as corruption goes.


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