Exactly. There's nothing like having distorted words placed in the mouths of the opposition, now, is there.
As one of the correct Democrats, I thought that you might actually want to see the text of the letter to Humana Heath Care that you've been drawing conclusions about. Quite possibly not, since when a Democrat appears to have a point, it looks as though you leave the field in a huff. (I think Huffs are a new British electric cars, aren't they? The affordable version that they're trying to fund over here instead of in the U.K. for family use, not as sports cars? Perhaps I've got that mixed up.)
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850
September 18, 2009
Ms. Gail Miller, VP, Strategy and Product Development Humana, Inc. 500 West Main Street, 17th FL Louisville, KY 40202
Ms. Laura Kelley Medicare Compliance Officer Humana, Inc. 500 West Main Street, 17th FL Louisville, KY 40202
Dear Ms. Miller/Ms Kelly:
CMS has learned that Humana has been contacting enrollees in one or more of its plans and alleging that current health care reform legislation affecting Medicare could hurt “millions of seniors and disabled individuals [who] could lose many of the important benefits and services [emphasis in original document] that make Medicare advantage health plans so valuable.‖ The message, which is included in an envelope that states it contains ―important information about your Medicare Advantage plan—open today!,‖ makes several other claims about the legislation and how it will be detrimental to enrollees, ultimately urging enrollees to contact their congressional representatives to protest the actions referenced in the letter (see attachment).
CMS is concerned that, among other things, this information is misleading and confusing to beneficiaries, represents information to beneficiaries as official communications about the Medicare Advantage program, and is potentially contrary to federal regulations and guidance for the MA and Part D programs and other federal law, including HIPAA. As we continue our research into this issue, we are instructing you to end immediately all such mailings to beneficiaries and to remove any related materials directed to Medicare enrollees from your website.
Page Two – Humana, Inc.
Please be advised that we take this matter very seriously and, based upon the findings of our investigation, will pursue compliance and enforcement actions.
If you have further questions please contact [staff]. Sincerely,
Teresa DeCaro, RN, M.S. Acting Director Medicare Drug and Health Plan Contract Administration Group
You will find the letter referenced at the Reuters news site and may check yourself , should you wish. Certainly their version will preserve the more professional spacing and font set-up that I haven't been able to here.
The point of the letter is that they are trying to pass themselves off as being representative of Medicare as a government agency rather than than as a private insurance group representing their own financial interests and using their Medicare-generated health care client list as a data base for a political mailing.
The law treats this last little bit as a violation. It is using private medical information for the financial good of the company and HIPPA prevents it and has for almost 20 years. It is not done for the patient but for the company. Not being somebody for whom medical confidentiality is a professional obligation, I'm not sure if you understand this. It's the same law that protects patients from having their private records published and their confidentiality breached.
The other piece is that Humana is trying to present themselves as a public agency, according to this letter. Is this fraud? You'd have to be more qualified than I am to say, and I'm not qualified at all. But if it's honest and aboveboard, why go to the bother?