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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to require health care providers to include “social and behavioral” data in Electronic Health Records (EHR) and to link patient’s records to public health departments, it was announced last week.

Health care experts say the proposal raises additional privacy concerns over Americans’ personal health information, on top of worries that the Obamacare “data hub” could lead to abuse by bureaucrats and identify theft.

The CMS currently covers 100 million people through Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Hospital Insurance Program and is tasked with running Obamacare.

According to a solicitation posted by the Department of Health and Human Services on Sept. 4, the CMS is commissioning the National Academy of Sciences to study how best to add social and behavioral factors to electronic health record reporting.

The agency said adding social and behavioral data to patients’ online records will improve health care.

“Increasing EHR adoption has the potential to improve health and health care quality,” the contract’s statement of work (SOW) reads. “Parallel advances in analytic tools applied to such records are fueling new approaches to discovering determinants of population health.”

The project sets out to identify “core data standards for behavioral and social determinants of health to be included in EHRs.”

Critics suggested this would create new bureaucracies and negatively impact health care.

“This sounds like an example of the federal government further intruding on the practice of medicine,” said Chris Jacobs, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

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