I understand your concern about your SS#, and yes, many insurance companies now use IDs other than your ss#.
But I work at a medical center within a very large hospital. We ask for SS#, birthdate, middle initial and so forth, to be sure we don't confuse the patients. We tell the patients that they don't have to give us the number on the phone but need to when they come into the office for their appointment.
Believe me, people go ballistic if their records are confused with someone else's with the same name, different DOB and we can get terminated over not patients being confused. We have to have identifiers as they call them.
When we have a new patient coming in we call other facilities medical record departments and they ask us the first, last name, middle initial if they have it, DOB, ss#. I don't know anyone who uses drivers license #, and we just aren't set up that way.
Maybe someday we will use other identifiers, but at this time we use the ss#. Not everyone drives or has a drivers license.
Regarding the insurance companies, if there is a question on the policy number or group number, they ask for the social security number.
However, we are very careful about peoples privacy, have to shred every piece of paper with patient information (other than their chart). We have privacy shields on our computers, can't give information on the phone except to the patient, family members or friends they've okay'd with us.
This probably isn't an issue at a small doctor's office, but is at a large facility.
If anyone at our facility attempts to look up information on a patient who isn't a patient of their doctor, department, it is tracked and they are terminated. No questions asked. No excuses.
Hope this helps. I give my information to doctor's/dentists offices.
- Response by lasuz
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