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Who Gains Access to Your Medical Records: Privacy of Your Medical Records

Aug 17, 2007
Medical records are personal matters that most people feel must be kept private. However, little do we know that our medical secrets are harder to conceal from the public eye than we think.

Now, ask yourself how many times have you consulted your family doctor? Have you ever been hospitalized? Have you submitted medical records for the purpose of employment? How about International travel?

The list of people, companies and agencies that may have gained access to your personal records may be longer than you would want it to be. In fact, you may be surprised to find out how medical secrets are made available to the rest of the world - most of it your own undoing. The list below will give you an idea of why there are no secrets where your medical records are concerned:

1. The good old family doctor. Obviously, doc has to know your conditions in order to give you a diagnosis and treat your medical conditions at the time of sickness.

2. Nurses and hospital staff that administer tests or assist the doctor in any way.

3. If you've ever been hospitalized, then you have a set of medical records there as well that is separate from that with your family doctors'.

4. Your health insurance provider. For them to insure you, they had to analyze the risks involved of taking you into their wing. They definitely have your medical records, no doubt about it.

5. If you are a Canadian and/or U.S. resident, then your medical records may also end up with the Medical Information Bureau (MIB). Your files are made available to MIB by your health insurance provider, if they are one of the 750 insurance companies considered as members of MIB. MIB uses codes to classify and record the medical condition(s) that you have had or currently have right now.

6. Government agencies also have access to your records.

7. Schools and other institutions or groups that you might have had membership in which required you to submit a detailed medical history or record.

8. Medical research may sometimes include medical records of patients with diseases or conditions that need further studies. If you have a condition that interests them, chances are they have a file on you.

9. Medical marketers, medical surveys and the like. Anyone who may have had access to surveys or questionnaires regarding your health might have a medical file on you. This way, they can offer you products and services tailor fit to your medical needs.

This list may go on, but frankly, why worry about who knows what about your medical record(s)? No need to get stressed over this because the last thing you'll probably want is to add on to the medical information that will be passed on the people who indeed have access to your file. So relax, enjoy life and stay healthy!
About the Author
Tristan Andrews writes useful articles about collection agencies. Discover and explore the world of debt collections. Find out how using a collection agency can expand your financial horizons at http://www.advinfoc.com
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