Doctor Collecting WAY Too Much Personal Information

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by LittleBluestem, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    I had a doctor's appointment today (not a CFS doc). Of course the first thing I had to do was fill out a form.

    Filled in my name - can't see the doctor incognito!

    Left SSN blank.

    Debated on birth date after what I read here yesterday, but decided a doctor had a legitimate need to know how old her patients are. I considered filling just the year, since that is all she really needs, but decided it might seem churlish.

    Left Driver's license blank - why on earth would a doctor need that?!?

    Filled in address - they might have a legitimate need to contact me.

    Filled in phone number - they already have that from my call to get an appointment.

    The I came to age. Why do they ask for both birth date and age? Age is all they really need to know, but I had already filled-in birth date with an ink pen.

    If most patients are providing all of the information requested, those files would be an identity thiefs dream-come-true. And I can't help but wonder why the doctor is collecting it. Is she selling it?
  2. rosemarie

    rosemarie Member

    having them ask you when your birthdate is is not unusal they usually need it to file for your inusrance, as with you social secerity number too , my husbands insurance is that way parts of his S.S number are needed to file insurance for him.

    I know when I signed my life away for my pain doctor I had to give all that info and more.I know it is hard to have to give someone all that informatation when you hear all the things in the news of people stealing your ID and that. I had to see all of the doctors papers of where he went to school and I found out that he is a real doctor and the people in his office have to are bound by law to not give our your info to anyone. But it is usual for doctors to ask you for all that sruff. I would ask them ther policy about giving out informatation to anyother people anda make sure that your comfrotable with it before you give it to them. But remeber that if you don't give them the infomatation that they need you may not be seen by the doctor.

    Hope I helped . I know it is hard to give up things like that type of informatation to any one. Rosemarie
  3. petsrme

    petsrme Member

    I think some of the reasons they need your ssn and other info is if you don't pay them. They have to have a way to find you and prove who you are to sue if you don't pay. They also need it for insurance and medicaid purposes.
  4. petsrme

    petsrme Member

    You were a 100% right!! I don't blame you one bit for saying something. That is ridiculous. I think the doctor was just embarrassed that you heard all that info and she got defensive.
  5. Musica

    Musica New Member

    used to use Soc Sec number for ID. Recently, they changed that to protect patients from identity theft. It is much more inconvenient since I always have to look it up now, but it was a good thing to do. Although there may be good cause for some personal information to be requested, I think it is wise for everyone to consider whether it is wise to give out and in what circumstances. The important thing, it seems, is to become more aware.
  6. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member


    In this day and age and with HIPPA guidelines that EVERY health care provider MUST adhere to, I am flabergasted that such a doctor exists!!!! I cannot remember your phrase she used.....but she is certainly not a compassionate physician if she REALLY believes all her patients don't mind having their personal conversations with the physician overhead.

    I work in a hospital where our computers must face away from the public so that nothing on the screen can be read by a passerby. No one in the waiting rooms can overhear anything.

    Having said that, the outpatient surgical unit does not provide complete that point, your history etc need not be are there just for the procedure.

    Social Security numbers: unless you are on Medicare and the like, do NOT give out your SS# to a doctor's office or hospital, it is not necessary. My insurance used to be my SS# however the insurance company changed that. I have yet had any physician's office, lab office person push for the info even though the question is on their form and I leave it blank.

    Last week, I applied for a credit card from LL Bean when placing an order because you are never charged shipping if you use their credit card. During the application process I was asked for my SS#,

    "I don't want to give it" I said.

    She said "We are required to ask you."

    I asked "Am I required to give it to you."

    She said "NO!"


    Fondly, June

  7. fibropax

    fibropax New Member

    You can always write a letter to the Medical Board in your state. Your daughter can tell you how to find the address. You can find in online under State Medical Licenses. There is a board that oversees the behaviour of physicians and it sounds like this doc could use a good talking to!
    You have every right to feel violated. Your privacy was threatened and treated as if it is not important. I think her behaviour is disrespectful and she violates major privacy boundries with her patients. I don't care how acute the shortage is for her particular expertise, there is no excuse for creating such anxiety in her patients with bad behaviour.
  8. queendd

    queendd New Member

    Hi Little Bluestem: I am new to this board and glad to have found the site. In response to your issue it really is amazing that this type of thing would be going on in a physician's office and then when you dare to question the
    "openess" of the office with very personal info you are threatened...unbelievable!
    I would suggest as a precaution that should you ever find yourself in a similar situation that you "alter" any info you feel could be helpful to an identity thief.
    What really gets my goat is when you fill out those forms re: what meds you are allergic to,what other health issues you are struggling with,surgeries you have had,etc. only to have the physician ignore the entire application! I have had the very meds that I listed under: allergies,prescribed for me after the office visit was coming to a close! That is one of the number one reasons of hospital related deaths! It is a shame that you are limited in who you are able to see for your medical problem. I found myself in the same situation when looking for a Rheumatologist and I live in a major metro area...after being diagnosed and prescribed meds I was allergic to I never returned for my next visit.
    I wish you the best of luck in dealing with this physician in the future. I think that I would be looking around though for another physician that may be qualified to treat your condition. Also,good for you for having the spine to stand up to an ego driven doctor! Many people are so intimidated by all doctors that they won't challenge doctors on anything even when they know the doctor is wrong. Take care and good luck. Peace, Queendd
  9. JLH

    JLH New Member


    Like another poster said, most of the info that those forms in doctor's office want (other than the std. info. for insurance forms) is in case they need to send a claim for collection in case you don't pay your bills.

    Also, the driver's license info, and other stuff may be needed in case you are going to a doc posing as another person.

    This is the day of doctor shopping, etc., for prescriptions. I have read in our local papers of people going to doctors posing as someone else just to pass a physical for employment purposes, to take drug tests for employment, and to get prescription drugs for them.

    The docs need a way to make sure you are really who you say they are.

    You might be an honest patient, but according to my daughter who is a doctor, everyone else walking the street IS NOT!!!!!!!


    Edit: I should correct myself and say, not "everyone" else is not honest, but rather "many" of the people walking the street are not honest!!
    [This Message was Edited on 08/03/2005]
  10. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    I do not have insurance and the doctor requires payment at the time of service. They did not say anything about the fields that I left blank.

    Several years ago another doctor's office asked me for my SS#. When I said that I did not give that out, the said their computer system used it as the ID number, so they had to have it. I relented and gave it to them. The next time I came in for an appointment, they pulled the record for the other person in town with my name. So much for using the SS# for ID! That was the last time anyone without a legal requirement to have my SS# got it.
  11. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    You are in a difficult position, I am sorry. Good luck
    Fondly, June
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Your Medicare number will either be yours or your husband's. Most medical insurers use the SSN as the enrollee number. They will often take a copy of the drivers license to insure that the patient is really who she says she is and is not using someone else's insurance.

    All this new HIPPA privacy todo and they talk to one another or on the phone and give out all one's info. Oy!

    Love, Mikie
  13. ibisgirldc

    ibisgirldc New Member

    JMO, but I don't see anything wrong with the doctor asking for any of that info described in the first post. Maybe there's a reason to refuse the SS#, but as someone else pointed out, many insurance companies use it for your ID number and many DRs offices keep them so they can track you down if you don't pay. Age, DOB, adress, number, next of kin, allergies, etc... Your doc is supposed to have this info. Actually, it would never occur to me to not comply with that request.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I think refusing to give your information puts you in the moniority of patients. And saying that you don't need to give your age when you've already given your DOB is almost argumentative. It's your doctor...

    If you don't trust the professionals whom you're seeing with knowledge of your ailments and personal history then you shouldn't be there to see them. Perhaps the first poster should choose another doctor with whom she can feel more confident?
  14. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    If they have your birth date, they can figure your age, so why ask for it. My real point was that all they need to provide health care is your age. They do not need your birth date (or SSN or driver’s license #).

    I did not realize until I got to the appointment that they would be asking for so much personal information. Since they did not insist on having it, I will probably go back, if needed.

    Even if I trust the doctor, there is all of the staff, present and future, that have access to the files. Someone who knows that she was collecting all of this information might break into the office or hack into the computer and steal it. Having this much personal information floating around is just dangerous.
  15. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    therapy near our home for therapy at
    different times. We just got letters addressed to both of us that they had a breakin and our personal information along with all their other patients was taken. No other theft was done. JUST the information!
    I called the big credit companies, our bank and still have to call our credit card companies and may have to
    file a police report to keep from being held responsibitiy for any bills someone may run up on our names. They should have some place away from their offices to keep old
    records and a better system for keeping current patients info private!
  16. petsrme

    petsrme Member

    My question is this...when you have insurance you pay your copay and they bill you later for what insurance didn't cover,that adds up to a lot in my case and I owe them money all the time. Some have even threatened collection because I didn't pay fast enough. If you refuse to put your address, ss# birthdate, what recourse do they have to find you and get their money? Couldn't a doctor refuse to see you if you don't provide that info? Like someone else said it has never occurred to me not to answer the questions. I think I will try it if I ever go to another doctor.
  17. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    I filled in my address, although I already knew that I would be required to pay in full before leaving, since I do not have insurance.

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