Theodore's World: Obesity Rating for Every American Must Be Included in Stimulus-Mandated Electronic Health Records, Says HHS

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July 19, 2010

Obesity Rating for Every American Must Be Included in Stimulus-Mandated Electronic Health Records, Says HHS

Obesity Rating for Every American Must Be Included in Stimulus-Mandated Electronic Health Records, Says HHS

New federal regulations issued this week stipulate that the electronic health records--that all Americans are supposed to have by 2014 under the terms of the stimulus law that President Barack Obama signed last year--must record not only the traditional measures of height and weight, but also the Body Mass Index: a measure of obesity.

The obesity-rating regulation states that every American's electronic health record must: “Calculate body mass index. Automatically calculate and display body mass index (BMI) based on a patient’s height and weight.”

The law also requires that these electronic health records be available--with appropriate security measures--on a national exchange.

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.

The new regulations are one of the first steps towards the government’s goal of universal adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by 2014, as outlined in the 2009 economic stimulus law. Specifically, the regulations issued on Tuesday by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Dr. David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, define the "meaningful use" of electronic records. Under the stimulus law, health care providers--including doctors and hospitals--must establish "meaningful use" of EHRs by 2014 in order to qualify for federal subsidies. After that, they will be subjected to penalties in the form of diminished Medicare and Medicaid payments for not establishing "meaningful use" of EHRs.

Section 3001 of the stimulus law says: "The National Coordinator shall, in consultation with other appropriate Federal agencies (including the National Institute of Standards and Technology), update the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan (developed as of June 3, 2008) to include specific objectives, milestones, and metrics with respect to the following: (i) The electronic exchange and use of health information and the enterprise integration of such information.‘‘(ii) The utilization of an electronic health record for each person in the United States by 2014."

Under this mandate in the stimulus law, Secretary Sebelius issued a regulation--developed by Dr. Blumenthal--that requires that all EHRs keep track of a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI) score. Body Mass Index is a ratio between a person’s weight and height, and is used to determine whether or not someone is overweight or obese. It is the preferred method of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for measuring obesity.

Michelle Obama has made dealing with the problem of childhood obesity the main theme of her term as First Lady.

According to the CDC, “BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.”

A person’s BMI score is used as a tool to screen for obesity or excessive body fat that could lead to other health problems. While it does not actually measure body fat directly, according to CDC, the BMI scores generally correlate with a person’s body fat percentage.

The new regulations also stipulate that the new electronic records be capable of sending public health data to state and federal health agencies such as HHS and CDC. The CDC, which calls American society “obesogenic” – meaning that American society itself promotes obesity – collects BMI scores from state health agencies every year to monitor obesity nationwide.

“Electronically record, retrieve, and transmit syndrome based public health surveillance information to public health agencies,” the regulations read.

With the spread of electronic health records, the CDC apparently will be able to collect such data more efficiently and with greater accuracy because the electronic record keeping systems can send the data automatically, eliminating the need for government – both state and federal – to keep, send, and process physical records.

Wild Thing's comment.......

Umm . . . sorry sir or lady , I know you need that heart transplant, but your BMI is too high to qualify. I'm afraid you'll just have to die. You know it makes it easier to decide who goes to the soap factories.

Anyone still believe that healthcare rationing isn't coming?

And one other things, when I was bodybuilding one of the things I learned is that BMI means nothing if you are very muscular. So if ithey are going to use that, then the Body Mass Index - it looks like most professional athletes will be listed as fat.Heck 90% of the NFL is obese by the BMI standard!

What a bunch of Frickin’ fascist/communist/Maoist jerks.

It's a major problem when the feds or state pass a law that gives an agency the power to draw up the regulations under that law. It means non-elected bureaucrats are making the rules, rules which have the effect of law.

The Government will use these statistics to decide who is ‘worthy’ of life preserving health care. This is the end of American personal freedom. All in the name of requiring us to do what the Left deems is good for us.

Dare we even ask ....'Where in the Constitution is this authorized?'

To get BMI simply take the weight (in kilograms) divided by the height (in meters) squared. Nothing more, nothing less. For example, if you're 6 foot tall (1.83) meters, you take the height and square it (1.83 X 1.83 = 3.35). Then take your weight in kilograms, say 70 (155 pounds), and divide it by the result of squaring your height (70 / 3.35 = 20.9). Congradulations, at 6 foot tall and 155 pounds, you are at a "normal" weight with a BMI of 20.9. A little scrawney, well actuallly pretty thin for sure, but that's the way Obama wants you.

BMI remains a pi$$-poor indicator of body fat content.

Posted by Wild Thing at July 19, 2010 06:49 AM


Mr. Obama became Senator Obama by leaking the sealed divorce records of Jeri Ryan and her husband to the public six years after the fact. You just cannot smear your opponent with sealed records unless the sealed records exist.

The question will become "Have you ever been a fat slob?" and the answer in the liberal press for the physically fit that weight was high relative to their height because of muscle mass YES! Gymnasts in MASS are getting letters sent home this month because they weigh "too much." Ever noticed how many athletic achievers become Republicans compared to the pencil necked geek Democrats.

Posted by: Avitar at July 19, 2010 10:29 AM

Ok so, if you have a high BMI(bowel movement Involuntary) ...errr Body Mass index that is high then what? They tell you to lose weight and you don't do they send you to the Death Panel or is that the Final Solution, to the Fatty problem.

Seriously some people are just big, what about them, are they just going to off them because they can't lose weight or force them into surgery to have their stomach stapled or whatever the cheapest procedure is. But I suppose a bullet is the cheapest.

This is absurd. Are they also going to shut down all the fast food joints, Burger king, Macdonalds and certera. This communist Health care is going to cost more than we will ever know especially in innocent lives. This nightmare just keeps getting worse and we're not waking up.

Posted by: Mark at July 19, 2010 11:24 AM

I guess that dirty fingernails will eventually be on their hit list. This is pure socialism. We are watching freedom fly out the window.

Posted by: TomR,armed in Texas at July 19, 2010 11:34 AM

Avitar, that was great, thanks! Your right about the athletic achievers too.

Mark, LOL good one. Amd the other part you said it sure seems t get worse. Each day I get a ache inside of fear to see what else has happened from obama and his czars. I agree too there are people that are just big. Heck Nick's bones alone must weigh a ton, he sometimes has to be x-rayd twice because his bones are so thick. So that has to weigh a lot too.

Tom, hahaha yes fingernails, I am laughing but with obama anythig could happen.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 19, 2010 07:05 PM