Have you received “important” looking mail from your doctor? Beware! It really is from the Accountable Care Coalition (ACO), an out-growth of Medicare, requesting information related to your health. This is under the guise of assisting your medical care givers. As for the PHA, it is your Personal Health Assessment (PHA) that your doctor is aware of along with those affiliated within the medical groupings/organizations (i.e. Aurora, Wheaton, etc.).
Those especially on Medicare have or will be receiving these letters requesting your information and permission to share your medical information with the ACO a large data base gatherer located in Houston, TX. Makes you wonder how this helps your doctor and/or medical care givers in your particular area of the country? Well, it does not! Who it does help is the long reaching arm of the Government when it comes time to make decisions on your behalf.
Remember the Affordable Care Act??? Remember the “Decision Panel” led by the Health Secretary??? Well, how else do you get information on people if they still have not signed up for the behemoth know as Obamacare!
Those on Obamacare already have given their information, unknowingly, to this database. Now those on Medicare are next. Most should have been asked for their permission to allow Medicare to share their information with ACO by now. When I received mine just a few weeks back, I was unaware of why my doctor wanted Medicare to ask for this permission since the doctor belongs to Aurora and generally any referrals done are within the same system. If a referral is given beyond the Aurora Network, your records are either sent electronically or personally with you to the referred doctor. Knowing this, I refused permission for Medicare to share my information with ACO.
Yesterday February 5, I received a letter marked in bold “Important Information from your doctor”, but it came from the Accountable Care Coalition (ACO) located in Houston, TX. I live in southeastern Wisconsin so what does this have to do with my doctor here? Upon opening the letter, it mentions that my doctor, name given, participates in this group that is a “Shared Savings Program” and assists in improving efficient use of my overall medical care. Sounds good right???
The letter continues by asking that I fill out the enclosed PHA, which is a generalized questionnaire about one’s health. While it might be generalized, it does allow for more specific questionnaires to be sent relative to answers. In addition, the letter recommends that one take advantage of Wellness benefits allowed under Medicare Part B. It ends by giving a local telephone number, if one has questions or concerns, and the toll free Medicare number.
Along with the enclosed PHA is a Frequently Asked Questions flyer, which truly is eye opening, if one takes the time to read it. The first question supposedly answers what the ACO is and for more information can visit http://www.cms.gov/ACO. Note the .gov! The second and third questions address who is served and how the ACO came about. The answer is that since on Medicare and most of the providers accept Medicare patients, all fall under the control of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), however ACO is NOT a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), managed care, or insurance company.
The fourth and fifth questions and answers are the most telling. While your doctor has the generalized information requested on the PHA, another must be filled out so that the ACO is sure that all have the most complete and accurate information relative to your health. In addition, if you declined permission for Medicare to share your information with ACO, do not worry as this will not be noted within the ACO system, but your doctor will continue to provide the best services and referrals for your overall medical care.
As for the finally questions, the next two tell you that your information will be shared by whomever is in need of knowing your overall health. It implies that this greatly benefits you. The last question just provides telephone numbers for further questions or concerns.
Having read all this the decision was made to contact my doctor in this regard and ask if he actually was behind this. The answer to my query was that the doctor is unaware of this group (ACO) or how his name and mine are known to them. It was suggested that Medicare be contacted directly with my query.
Thinking about questioning Medicare just drew ire so instead decided to check the CMS site. Lo and behold, right there was the answer. The supposed Shared Savings Program (ACO) along with the use of the doctor’s name last visited is a way to “trick” people in providing their medical information so it gets into a Government database.
A NaturalNews article, just yesterday, made mention of such a database and the loss of our Privacy. Well, here it is in the making folks! As for my decision as to how to answer this letter, well a strongly written letter saying “Thanks, but no thanks!” has been sent. Wonder what will happen or be received next to get my health information.
Beware! Stay alert! Do not be trapped into thinking it is for your benefit. It is not. Our Freedoms are slowly fleeting away!
Affordable Care Act of 2009 with Reconciliation Act of 2010. Retrieved from
Heyes, J. D. (2015, February 5). Feds to create national data warehouse to record disease details on Obamacare enrollees. Retrieved from http://www.naturalnews.com/048508_Obamacare_enrollees_national_data_warehouse_health_information.html