By John Casillas
Dr. Jonathan Gold, MD, MHA recently completed a new report on what he feels is an "imperative" in healthcare today; namely, adoption of Health Record Banks (HRB). His work in this area is impressive. He has interviewed many experts around the country to identify potential snafus in adopting the model that while using the term "bank" in its name, can actually be implemented external to banks as well. Dr. Gold is presenting his latest report – "Critical Issues In The Development And Implementation Of A Health Record Banking System" – at the Fifth National Medical Banking Institute.
In preparing the agenda for the 5th National Medical Banking Institute I had the opportunity to speak to a number of HRB enthusiasts. I consider Dr. Gold’s work, and the work of Dr. Marion Ball (IBM/Almedaen Institute) and Dr. Amnon Shabo (IBM/Haifa, Israel) to be the most authoritative in this area.
I am concerned that as we talk about this concept, and others where the bank is being utilized for eHealth infrastructure, that we are at the same time embracing the serious privacy, security and confidentiality issues that go hand-in-hand with this approach. While Gold makes this a clear priority, within the context of the commercial banking industry we must remain vocal that banks take HIPAA very seriously; at least this is definitely the case with MBProject member banks.
In 2001, the Medical Banking Project announced the possibility that banks can form a new eHealth ecosystem that can improve healthcare. I had been working on this since 1996 related to administrative messaging through bank systems as a new recurring fee model. In 2001, we faced a lot of pressure from banking associations when my White Paper on HIPAA’s Impact on Lockboxes was published in the Journal of Healthcare Administrative Management and the International Privacy Association’s newsletter. Like any other segment, banks were reticent to embrace HIPAA – clearly a first step towards lending their significant investments in technology, systems and process for creating a digital ecosystem for healthcare.
Today, our member banks are working on a number of medical banking models targeting an eHealth ecosystem. As we pursue this goal, we are glad that at a time when we embraced HIPAA as a foundational stepping stone for banks in healthcare, that the privacy groups rallied around MBProject. Many privacy advocates continue to argue that more needs to be done and these voices are once again being heard in DC; and they need to be heard by the medical banking community as well. Going forward, our goal is to keep privacy advocates in our dialogue and industry direction.
Dr. Gold recently wrote the following comments to MBProject and we are reprinting here:
Dear Mr. Casillas,
Last year, as an NLM post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, I discussed with you the use of a banking model for storing personal health records. I have recently concluded my final report for this project and would like to share this with you and thank you for your participation.
Since your involvement in the project, a number of interesting events have occurred:
1) U.S. Sen. Brownback and U.S. Rep. Ryan have introduced proposals in their respective houses of congress regarding health record banks (U.S. Senate Bill (Proposal):S.3454.Independent Health Record Bank Act of 2006; U.S. House of Representatives Bill (Proposal): H.R.5559),
2) IBM Systems Journal has published the health record banking white paper in a special health issue (Gold JD, Ball MJ. “The Health Record Banking Imperative: A conceptual model”. IBM Systems Journal, Vol 46, No 1, 43-55 (2007). Available from http://www.research.ibm.com/journal/sj/461/gold.pdf.),
3) Discussion of health record bank models appeared in the HIMSS journal (Ball MJ, Gold JD. Banking on Health: Personal Records and Information Exchange. J Healthc Inf Manag. 2006 Spring;20(2):71-83.),
4) The HRBS proposal will be presented at the 5th National Medical Banking Institute in March (http://www.mbproject.org/5MBI2007.php), and
5) Washington State’s Health Information Infrastructure Stakeholder Advisory Committee has recommended the adoption of a competitive banking model and personal health records for data exchange within the state.
I want to thank you again for your time and your help in this research project.
Dr. Jonathan Gold, MD MHA
office: (303) 926-2451 or 1-800 752-4143 ext. 2451
P.O. Box 270249, Louisville, CO 80027
About Dr. Jonathan Gold, MD MHA
Dr. Gold is a physician analyst for McKesson Provider Technologies. He recently completed a Master of Science degree as a National Library of Medicine post-doctoral fellow in health sciences informatics at Johns Hopkins University. He received an M.D. degree at Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel in 1990 and gained board certification in pediatrics in 1997. Subsequently, Dr. Gold served as a primary-care pediatrician and as the director of the medical quality-assurance unit for the Maccabi Health Service’s Negev region. In 2001, he completed a Master of Health Administration degree at Ben-Gurion University. A pediatrician with close to a decade of primary-care practice and medical quality-assurance experience, Dr. Gold is focused on the development of the consumer-oriented, electronic Health Record Banking system, the practical needs of the health-care provider, and the considered goals of a comprehensive health-care strategy.