-By Warner Todd Huston
New federal regulations issued by Obama’s administration will require doctors to record their patient’s body mass index (BMI) ratio. No longer will your weight problems be a matter between you and your doctor. Thanks to Obama, now your doctor will be required by law to snitch to the feds on how fat you are.
Like most of what goes on in Washington, this new little regulation was stuck a bill otherwise wholly unconnected to healthcare, the stimulus billsection 301)
According to the government’s new HIT Standards (Health Information Technology), each patient’s BMI numbers will be recorded and must be available to the federal government on a national database exchange.
(e) Record and chart vital signs.
(1) Vital signs. Enable a user to electronically record, modify, and retrieve a patient’s vital signs including, at a minimum, the height, weight, blood pressure, temperature, and pulse.
(2) Calculate body mass index. Automatically calculate and display body mass index (BMI) based on a patient’s height and weight.
(3) Plot and display growth charts. Plot and electronically display, upon request, growth charts for patients 2-20 years old.
Naturally all these electronic health records will be under the thumb of yet another government agency that will “assure” that the records are being gathered and stored correctly and can be retrieved from the national database.
But of what use is a BMI reading? Many researchers and doctors now believe that the BMI system is not a reliable determinant of health problems. Some researchers now think that “BMI should be disregarded as a clinical and epidemiological measure of cardiovascular risk.”
And what use will the Obama administration make of this information? Will Obama use this info as another excuse for government spending? Of that you can be sure.