Who Is Peeping at Your Medical Records?
Does anyone really know who has seen their medical records? I was shocked at who could have information that was obtained from my personal medical record. Not that my name is all over the internet with the diagnoses of my last visit – but do you really know who has access to your private medical records? This may come as a shock to you that this list of people, agencies, and services can access your medical record.
Of Course, you have access to your personal medical records. You can also assign access to whomever you choose. I have no problem with my husband or daughter getting information from my doctor if they need it. I could sign a Power of Attorney which would make it official – but I haven’t.
Aside from family and friends, even strangers if you want, an attorney or legal representative may need access to review your records to prepare for litigation. You can give “YOUR” representative permission but keep in mind – a court order, obtained by the other party, can allow “THEIR” representative permission to view your medical records - if justified and legal.
Your doctor wrote the information on the chart so they have access. Staff members in the medical office will access your private health information for coding, billing, faxing prescriptions, ordering consults with specialists, filing medical records, scheduling diagnostic tests. Your information will be sent to your insurance company – let’s face it – doctors need to be paid.
If you doctor is a member of an Accountable Care Organization, Independent Physician Association, a Medical Group or a Patient Centered Medical Home there will be quality personnel sifting through your medical record looking for anything from a recent colonoscopy to a potassium level. Quality incentives are very important to your doctor and any organization they are affiliated with.
Your employer may be granted a “need to know” access to your medical records for situations such as Worker’s Compensation claims, Family Medical Leave of Absence, disability claims, extended medical leaves, and perhaps, a general overview of their employee health status to estimate insurance premium costs.