Hospitals Are Mining Patients’ Credit Card Data to Predict Who Will Get Sick

Business Week
By Shannon Pettypiece and Jordan Robertson

Imagine getting a call from your doctor if you let your gym membership lapse, make a habit of buying candy bars at the checkout counter, or begin shopping at plus-size clothing stores. For patients of Carolinas HealthCare System, which operates the largest group of medical centers in North and South Carolina, such a day could be sooner than they think. Carolinas HealthCare, which runs more than 900 care centers, including hospitals, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, and surgical centers, has begun plugging consumer data on 2 million people into algorithms designed to identify high-risk patients so that doctors can intervene before they get sick. The company purchases the data from brokers who cull public records, store loyalty program transactions, and credit card purchases.

Information on consumer spending can provide a more complete picture than the glimpse doctors get during an office visit or through lab results, says Michael Dulin, chief clinical officer for analytics and outcomes research at Carolinas HealthCare. The Charlotte-based hospital chain is placing its data into predictive models that give risk scores to patients. Within two years, Dulin plans to regularly distribute those scores to doctors and nurses who can then reach out to high-risk patients and suggest changes before they fall ill. “What we are looking to find are people before they end up in trouble,” says Dulin, who is a practicing physician.

For a patient with asthma, the hospital would be able to assess how likely he is to arrive at the emergency room by looking at whether he’s refilled his asthma medication at the pharmacy, has been buying cigarettes at the grocery store, and lives in an area with a high pollen count, Dulin says. The system may also look at the probability of someone having a heart attack by considering factors such as the type of foods she buys and if she has a gym membership. “The idea is to use Big Data and predictive models to think about population health and drill down to the individual levels,” he says.

While Carolinas HealthCare can share patients’ risk assessments with their doctors under the hospital’s contract with its data provider, the health-care chain isn’t allowed to disclose details, such as specific transactions by an individual, says Dulin, who declined to name the data provider.

If the early steps are successful, though, Dulin says he’d like to renegotiate to get the data provider to share more specific details with the company’s doctors on their patients’ spending habits. “The data is already used to market to people to get them to do things that might not always be in the best interest of the consumer,” he says. “We are looking to apply this for something good.”

Many patients and their advocates are voicing concerns that Big Data’s expansion into medical care will threaten privacy. “It is one thing to have a number I can call if I have a problem or question; it is another thing to get unsolicited phone calls. I don’t like that,” says Jorjanne Murry, an accountant in Charlotte who has Type 1 diabetes and says she usually ignores calls from her health insurer trying to discuss her daily habits. “I think it is intrusive.”

Health advocates and privacy experts worry that relying more on data analysis also will erode doctor-patient relationships. “If the physician already has the information, the relationship changes from an exchange of information to a potential inquisition about behavior,” says Ryan Holmes, assistant director of health care ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

Data brokers have revealed few details on what they sell to health-care providers, and those acquiring the data are often barred from disclosing which company they purchased it from. Acxiom (ACXM) and LexisNexis (ENL) are two of the largest data brokers that collect information on individuals. Acxiom says its data are supposed to be used only for marketing, not for medical purposes or to be included in medical records. LexisNexis says it doesn’t sell consumer information to health insurers for the purpose of identifying patients at risk.

While some patients may benefit from data collection, hospitals also have a growing financial stake in knowing more about the people they care for. 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 in which hospitals are paid based on the numbers of tests or procedures they perform. As a result, the U.S. has begun levying fines on hospitals that have too many patients readmitted within a month and rewarding hospitals that fare well against clinical benchmarks and on patient surveys.

Obama Inc. to Deny Cancer Treatments by Redefining What “Cancer” Is

Investment Watch Blog

The death panels aren’t going to come through the front door. They’re going to sneak up on you from behind with piano wire.

On July 29, 2013, a working group for the National Cancer Institute (the main government agency for cancer research) published a paper proposing that the term “cancer” be reserved for lesions with a reasonable likelihood of killing the patient if left untreated. Slower growing tumors would be called a different name such as “indolent lesions of epithelial origin” (IDLE).

Their justification was that modern medical technology now allows doctors to detect small, slow-growing tumors that likely wouldn’t be fatal. Yet once patients are told they have a cancer, many become frightened and seek unnecessary further tests, chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery.

By redefining the term “cancer,” the National Cancer Institute hopes to reduce patient anxiety and reduce the risks and expenses associated with supposedly unnecessary medical procedures. In technical terms, the government hopes to reduce “overdiagnosis” and “overtreatment” of cancer.

Related:   US employers slashing worker hours to avoid Obamacare insurance mandate
The IRS Wants to Be Exempt from Obamacare While also Being in Charge of Making the Rest of Us Comply

YOU ARE CRAZY: New Psychiatric Guidelines Target Hoarding, Child Temper Tantrums, and a Host of Other “Illnesses”

Investment Watch

It’s not a stretch to suggest that Americans are over medicated. In 2011 doctors across the nation wrote an astounding four billion medical prescriptions, amounting to an average of 13 prescriptions for every man, woman and child in the United States.

In the next few weeks the American Psychiatric Associations is releasing their updated fifth version their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5); the so-called ‘bible’ of psychiatric diagnoses. The new manual promises to take mental illness and the use of prescription drugs to a whole new level.

You may not be considered “crazy” or “mentally ill” today, but under the new guidelines experts say half of us will be diagnosed with a psychiatric condition in the future.

The odds will probably be greater than 50 percent, according to the new manual, that you’ll have a mental disorder in your lifetime.


The increasing number of disorders comes about because some “problems” that were not previously considered to be mental illness were reclassified as such by their inclusion in the DSM—and it is the DSM that functionally defines mental illness in the United States.

You see, in the DSM-5 the definitions for mental illness have been expanded to include a whole host of new symptoms and conditions.

For example, under the new guidelines if your 6 to 18 year-old child throws a temper tantrum from time to time or has a mood swing, a psychiatrist could diagnose the condition as a “Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder” requiring professional treatment. Keep in mind that in psychiatry “professional treatment” almost always means prescription drugs.

Are you over the age of 55 and have “senior moments” like forgetting where you put your keys? If so, then in all likelihood you have a neurocognitive disorder.

Do you stockpile food, supplies or other items in anticipation of a disaster? If so, you may have what’s called an obsessive compulsive hoarding disorder.

“The reality shows have raised awareness, but they tend to sensationalize the patients, and they rarely talk about treatment.”


“The big change,” Dr. Saxena said, “will be an official recognition of hoarding as an important neuropsychic disorder that will increase screening, increase detection and diagnosis, and refer patients in for treatment.”

While the new hoarding guidelines don’t specifically target “preparedness,” the fact is that some ‘professionals’ have already suggested that if you have any level of anxiety about the possibility of a major catastrophe, or your motivation for preparing for unforeseen events includes a distrust of the government, then you’ve got psychological problems.

Now, with the DSM-5, they can officially diagnose you as crazy.

Dr. Allen Frances, the author of Saving Normal, says that the new requirements will, ”turn everyday anxiety, eccentricity, forgetting and bad eating habits into mental disorders.”

The changes being introduced by the DSM-5 are nothing short of a sweeping overhaul of our mental health care system, and they will have effects that many experts can’t even fathom. But those behind the DSM, who work very closely with government experts, know exactly what they’re doing.

Let’s connect the dots a little bit to get an idea of how this is going to have a direct impact on your life in the very near future.

Under the new regulations set forth by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, certain groups of Americans like school children, seniors, those on government health plans, active-duty military personnel, and veterans will be required to submit to mental health screenings.

Page 1137 of the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides grants for the operation of school-based health centers required to include “mental health and substance abuse disorder assessments” for children and adolescents.


On page 1191 is found a section on Mental Health Screening that refers to a program called “Healthy Aging, Living Well”. Persons ages 55-64 are being targeted for screening activities that can include “mental health/behavioral health and substance use disorders.”


Obamacare requires mental health services for many other groups.


These include Medicaid recipients, addicts, mothers with postpartum depression, the elderly, and soldiers. There’s even has a section called “Mental Health in Small Businesses” which awards grants to small businesses willing to provide workplace wellness programs that encourage “healthy lifestyles, healthy eating, increased physical activity and improved mental health.”

Are you starting to see where this is going?

You’ll be forced by your child’s school, by the government, and even your private employer to be involuntarily screened. And the psychiatrists who’ll be performing the diagnoses will be utilizing the criteria outlined in the DSM-5.

According to the afforementioned statistics, there’s a 50% chance that those being screened will be found to have some type of mental health condition.

But that’s just the beginning.

As we know, once diagnosed, failure to take the treatment (e.g. medication) prescribed could then be deemed unlawful behavior, especially in the case of children.

Not possible in America? Think again:

Earlier this year, administrators from the Berne-Knox-Westerlo school district called Albany County Child Protective Services, alleging child abuse when the Carrolls said they wanted to take Kyle off the drug.


As a result, the Carrolls are now on a statewide list of alleged child abusers, and they have been thrust into an Orwellian family court battle to clear their name and to ensure their child isn’t removed from their home. “It’s beyond the point of whether he should be on it. Now it’s the point of them telling us what we’re going to do,” said Michael Carroll. “They’re telling me how to raise my child.”


“The schools are now using child protective services to enforce their own desires and their own policies,” said David Lansner, a New York City lawyer who has seen cases similar to the Carrolls’. “The parents’ authority is being undermined when people have to do what some public official wants,” Lansner added. “This thing is so scary.”

It’s already happening, and with nearly 4 million children every year being (mis)diagnosed with ADHD, we can expect the numbers to rise significantly under the new DSM guidelines.

It’s important to understand, however, that they’re not just targeting our children. They’re coming after all of us.

The DSM-5, coupled with Obama Care legislation, will allow the government unprecedented control over lives.

One such example is the targeting of America’s gun owners. Legislation is in the works in many states, as well as the U.S. Congress, that would require mental health screenings for firearms ownership. Should these bills pass, then about half of America’s gun owners would immediately lose their right to bear arms for any manner of “disorders” that could include stress, anxiety, depressed mood or even poor eating habits!

And while gun control proponents would applaud the victory, what they fail to understand is that by green-lighting such a government intrusion, they are setting themselves up for future legislation that may restrict their own rights for activities that may include maintaining employment or caring for their children.

Once a diagnoses is made the government will then have the ability to enforce it at the barrel of a gun.

If your child is diagnosed with ADHD or separation anxiety disorder, and you refuse to feed them their prescription cocktail, then the government will step in and take your children under the guise of protecting them… from you!

Likewise, you may one day be forced to be screened by your employer and found to be mentally ill (remember, 50/50 shot!). If you refuse the professional treatment that’s recommended, you could lose your job as a result. And because the Department of Homeland Security has been busy creating a Domestic No-Work List all prospective employers will know of your condition and your refusal to seek professional treatment.

The possibilities, now that the door has been opened, are endless.

Related:  Mental Disorders: The Facts Behind the Marketing Campaign
Medicine: Pills for Mental Illness?

Medical Tyranny is Here, and we can’t say we weren’t warned

Old-Thinker News
by Daniel Taylor

Health care reform is a hot topic today, as it has been for much of America’s history. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, warned in 1787 that medical freedom needed to be included in the American Constitution. Without this protection, Rush warned that the medical establishment would naturally progress – as many of mankind’s institutions do – into an oppressive dictatorship. His words, echoing from over 200 years ago, ring strikingly true today:

“The Constitution of this Republic should make special provision for medical freedom. To restrict the art of healing to one class will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic. … Unless we put medical freedom into the constitution the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship and force people who wish doctors and treatment of their own choice to submit to only what the dictating outfit offers.”

The spirit of managerial scientific control that drives this beast is summarized in the words of Frederick Taylor, a pioneer in “scientific management.” As Taylor stated in 1907, ”Too great liberty results in a large number of people going wrong who would be right if they had been forced into good habits.” This spirit of quasi-altruistic scientific control begins to fade away towards the higher ranks of the system, however.

The potential for medical tyranny that Benjamin Rush perceived over 200 years ago crystallized when the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations transformed the American medical establishment in the early 20th Century. They strove to create a system of schooling to manufacture a predictable, rule following group of professionals to enforce the establishment regulations. Additionally, tax exempt foundations – through their grant making power – are able to mold the idea-sphere from which medical research emerges, or is suppressed.

The dictatorial health care model as expressed by “obamacare” is being implemented as part of a larger global program. The World Health Organization announced recently that it hopes to implement – via a U.N. resolution – “universal health coverage” across the globe in fulfillment of its Millennium Development Goals. The Rockefeller Foundation is working with WHO in the project. “There is a global movement towards UHC (Universal Health Care) and it is gathering momentum,” said Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation.

If you don’t want the kind of care that the allopathic establishment prescribes, be prepared to face the consequences.

A Minnesota mother was recently brought to court over refusing chemotherapy for her 8 year old daughter. A doctor apparently reported her to CPS. She was “…ordered into court and told if they did not work with them on a treatment plan, they would lose custody of Sarah.”

Another case involved a Pennsylvania mother who declined to vaccinate her child, resulting in a visit from CPS.

A 2009 case in which a 13 year old boy’s parents refused chemo resulted in a judgement of “medical neglect,” denying the right of his parents to refuse treatment on religious grounds.

The bottom line is this: Even if the medical establishment had our best interests at heart, what happens when their science is wrong? What happens when it is skewed in favor of the corporations that are closely aligned with them? What kind of damage is done when it is universally enforced? Benjamin Rush foresaw this danger, and it is time to face it for the reality it has become.

British ‘End of Life’ Panels Are Bad News for Everyone

Daily Bell
by Anthony Wile

The Daily Mail received a lot of attention this week for an article entitled, “3,000 doctors putting patients on ‘death lists’ that single them out to be allowed to die.”

Now, some of the feedbacks that the Mail received claimed that the End of Life Care Strategy (Fourth Annual Report) implied nothing of the sort.

But on page 8 of the report, we come to the following statement, “Find Your 1%, which aims to engage GPs in identifying the individuals on their lists who might be in their last year of life, so that they can undertake end of life care planning with them, has reached its midpoint target of 1,000 GPs signed up by August 2012.”

This is fairly clear. General practitioners are being encouraged by the Government Department of Health to make lists of people who they believe are not going to live long. But that’s not all. There are other unmistakable statements in the report that make it clear the mandate to provide end-of-life care is going to be aggressively implemented throughout the British state-run health care system.

Ministers have made a commitment to evaluate progress on end of life care to determine whether it is possible to introduce a right to choose to die at home. Over the next year the focus will continue to be on supporting people to be cared for and to die in their place of choice, providing community-based services to enable this to happen. Integration of services is key to this and will be a theme for the new Improvement Body, which will enable us to continue to work with our range of partners in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. At the same time the Transform programme will continue to support improvement in end of life care in hospitals.


The local Electronic Palliative Care Coordination System/ End of Life Care Locality Register is about to go live which will be vital for communication between the agencies involved in the care of these patients. The CCG has also developed a ‘Gold card’ scheme, which identifies these end of life care patients to health and social care professionals as well as helping patients access appropriate care.

Unlike many other socialized systems that are quasi-private in some elements, the British system is full-on government run. This makes what’s going on especially worrisome. There is no government in the world, historically speaking, that has ever handled life and death situations fairly over time. Bureaucrats are incapable of dealing with such situations fairly.

More likely, the power to wield death is abused. The more opportunities government has to wield death, the more those involved will do so. This is simply an ineluctable prerogative of government.

Death programs are like any other government service, actually. They will be continually expanded and made more complex to ensure the expansion of the departments in question. Eventually, people could die simply to ensure that a department meets certain quotas.

All this is written indelibly unless this program is stopped now. But it won’t be stopped. There is reason to believe, in fact, that it is gaining in momentum. It is meant to gain traction in tandem with the US program called Obamacare.

This is how the power elite works. They tend to advance certain activities not unilaterally but in harness with several great powers at once. Whether it is monetary regulation, education or other regulatory facilities, programmatic specifics are pushed forward together in an unstoppable rush.

The US has passed a health care plan that will support British policies, and no doubt we’ll see exactly the same sort of regulation evolving throughout Europe and then in the developing world. China surely won’t put up any resistance. The Daily Mail does us the favor of bluntly cataloguing the possibilities as follows:

Thousands of patients have already been placed on ‘death registers’ which single them out to be allowed to die in comfort rather than be given life-saving treatment in hospital, it emerged last night.


Nearly 3,000 doctors have promised to draw up a list of patients they believe are likely to die within a year, Department of Health figures showed yesterday …


They have been asked to earmark elderly patients who show signs of frailty or deterioration during routine consultations at their surgeries.


Although more than 7,000 patients nationwide have already been put on the list, there appears to be no obligation for doctors to inform them.


Some medical professionals went public with their worries yesterday following the Daily Mail’s disclosure of the NHS request to doctors to put one in every 100 of their patients on death lists.


Dr Peter Saunders, of the Christian Medical Fellowship, warned about the risks of drawing up ‘quotas’ for the dying.


‘We all know that doctors’ estimates of patients’ lifespans can be sometimes accurate but sometimes wildly inaccurate,’ he said. ‘A skilled doctor can in the great majority of cases assess when a patient is within a few hours or days of death. However, once we start to talk about weeks or months we know that we can often be right, but equally very badly wrong.’


The NHS is pushing for the death lists at a time when a keystone of its ‘end of life strategy’, the Liverpool Care Pathway, has come under fierce criticism from leading medical figures and families who believe their loved ones have been wrongly picked out in hospitals as dying.

None of this will end well. It will start with the aged and infirm and logically proceed to infants that will be diagnosed as having little or no chance at a “quality of life.”

Finally, it will provoke outright eugenics. It was trending in that direction in Hitler’s Germany and the same entities that helped fund that unsavory period of the 20th century are no doubt behind this, as well, one way or another.

The path being chosen is the one that turned the 20th century into one of the world’s bloodiest with some 150 million murdered by government policies, wars and incarceration.

Ultimately there is nothing caring about these “end of life” policies. And they warn us of much worse to come.