What will the Supreme Court decide?
Can government officials access your medical records based on the flimsiest excuse? Or does doctor-patient privacy still mean something in this country?
I don’t have high hopes that the Supreme Court will get this one right.
But whatever they decide, it’s time for you to make your medical privacy a high priority.
Have You Looked at Your Medical History?
For starters, you need to get a copy of your medical history. And you to review it carefully for errors.
According to the Wall Street Journal, 80,000 Americans die every year because doctors don’t have the right information for their patients. That can lead to improper care.
Your medical records may also contain accurate information that you need to know … and that data pirates don’t.
For both privacy and wellness reasons, take charge of your medical records. The system is set up to you out of your own files. But with what you learn here, you’ll know how to request and obtain a copy of your records.
Your Information Is Your Right to Obtain
Fortunately, there’s a coalition of consumer and medical groups working to help. The National Partnership for Women & Families has taken the lead. Together these groups aim to help more people access their medical data. They have launched a campaign called GetMyHealthData. They offer consumers online resources to help them obtain their own medical records.
According to GetMyHealthData, you have the right to “get a copy of your health information from most doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers such as pharmacies and nursing homes, as well as from your health insurance plan.”
Check Your MIB Medical File
In an effort to cut down on fraud and other costs, insurance companies have compiled data on millions of patients and consolidated all the information for easy access. Medical errors are surprisingly widespread. One tiny error in your medical file could cause you to lose your insurance or be misdiagnosed.
Most medical records are available through the Medical Information Bureau (MIB). You can request to see your file by visiting MIB’s website (www.mib.com) or calling 866-692-6901.
It’s a good idea to check on your medical file like you do your credit report. Make sure nothing erroneous winds up in there. The sooner you can spot a problem, the more likely it can be fixed before something goes wrong.
Bypass Obamacare’s Data Collection Dictates
Under Obamacare, the federal government has expanded its effort to compile data about patients. President Obama and the Democrats are pushing to nationalize and computerize all medical record-keeping. That will make it easy for just about anyone with dishonorable intentions to get ahold of your most sensitive data.
Even without the legislation’s new privacy threats, most people don’t realize how “open” their medical records already are. Your medical records may include information of a sensitive nature. Things like family relationships, fertility, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual history and behavior, or any substance abuse.
It can also include the private thoughts, feelings, or emotions expressed by your doctor. Even his impressions and speculations on you might be in there. All of which may be totally unfounded.
Your Medical History Can Be Used Against You in Ways It Could Not Before
These records may affect important parts of your life. For example, they could determine whether you or a child will be admitted to certain educational institutions. Or whether or not your boss will decide to hire you.
You can’t assume that what you tell your doctor won’t be used against you. It could affect your insurance. It could damage your employment. It could bring you to the attention of the government. Give your doctor the information he needs to treat you, but no more. If he asks about activities or lifestyle choices, it’s your right to decline to answer.
Also, look for a doctor who won’t demand your Social Security number. That’s difficult to find these days. But it’s not impossible. The growing field of concierge medicine offers patients customized care with a personal touch. By using concierge doctors … by paying in cash … by not going through insurance, you can greatly increase your medical privacy.