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Pharmacy deal raises concerns

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Updated: 9/03/2013 11:51 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Customers at Jacksonville's CVS stores have a new incentive to fill their prescriptions. It's called the CVS Extra Care Pharmacy and Health Rewards card, and allows customers to earn a $5 store credit for every 10 prescriptions filled, up to $50 a year.

While the card is appealing, an Action News investigation found that to get the card, customers must sign a HIPPA authorization form.

HIPPA is the federal law that gives patients control over the privacy of their medical records.

Health Care Attorney Mike Jorgensen looked over the card's fine print, and a statement sent to Action News from store officials, after we asked why they need access to information that doctor's have already reviewed.

A promotional document says that signing the authorization "allows CVS pharmacy to record the prescription earnings of each person who joins" the program, but Jorgensen thinks that's not enough reason to ask customers for a waiver.

"I looked through the entire explanation and I never found a good reason why they need it. Everything they say they're going to do, they can do without it."

Jorgensen says the number of prescriptions that customers fill is likely already tracked through a store computer system, and because pharmacies aren't bound by HIPPA laws to keep your medical records private, he wonders if there is another reason.

"One can only wonder if it's unless they are building their electronic database, and for what purpose?"

Store officials tell Action News that customers accounts will not be linked to their medical information.

"We do not sell our customers' personal information and their information is protected by consumer protection laws and our own privacy policy," says a spokesman. "We have extensive procedures, stringent policies and state-of-the-art technology in place to protect our customers' personal and health information."

But Jorgensen worries that could change.

"Just because they have a store policy today that says they aren't going to share your information, it doesn't mean in five years that store policy is going to remain intact and then what remedy do you have?"
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wishmistress - 9/4/2013 3:06 AM
2 Votes
NOTHING is private anymore. NOTHING.
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