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Can health care provider require SS #??
Old 11-18-2010, 07:32 PM   #1
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Can health care provider require SS #??

Hope this hasn't been discussed already.

Trying to find a new Doc. and was told I would not be taken as a patient without providing my SS no. I'm not on any Gummint program (except the early stages of Obey Care). I Googled for the answer and here is what I think I found. No clinic can require an SS no., but then they don't have to take me as a patient - I'm stretching the info I found a bit, but that's where I think I'm at. It's sort of like the "touching the junk vs. being photographed naked" argument. Nobody has to have either done - but then if you live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as I do, you'll never visit family and friends again. So NO we can't MAKE you do it, but we can make you wish you had.

Anyone know of Book Chapter and Verse that would state otherwise? At one time, I was under the "impression" that you could only be "required" (as in you couldn't be refused service) to give an SS no. except in cases of official government business. My research is leading me to believe that (for practical purposes) virtually anyone can require an SS no. from you - if you wish them to take your money to perform a service.

I'm guessing someone here knows this one by CFR, Paragraph, subsection ...

Thanks,

Koolau
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
Hope this hasn't been discussed already.

Trying to find a new Doc. and was told I would not be taken as a patient without providing my SS no. I'm not on any Gummint program (except the early stages of Obey Care). I Googled for the answer and here is what I think I found. No clinic can require an SS no., but then they don't have to take me as a patient - I'm stretching the info I found a bit, but that's where I think I'm at. It's sort of like the "touching the junk vs. being photographed naked" argument. Nobody has to have either done - but then if you live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as I do, you'll never visit family and friends again. So NO we can't MAKE you do it, but we can make you wish you had.

Anyone know of Book Chapter and Verse that would state otherwise? At one time, I was under the "impression" that you could only be "required" (as in you couldn't be refused service) to give an SS no. except in cases of official government business. My research is leading me to believe that (for practical purposes) virtually anyone can require an SS no. from you - if you wish them to take your money to perform a service.

I'm guessing someone here knows this one by CFR, Paragraph, subsection ...

Thanks,

Koolau
Maybe you slip a digit or two when you are filling out the paperwork. "Oops, my bad." It would be interesting to know what they were looking for when they detected your inadvertent error.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:30 PM   #3
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Could be a credit or identity check so they can come after you if you don't pay your bill. Could be used to access medical records?
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:16 PM   #4
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Could be a credit or identity check so they can come after you if you don't pay your bill. Could be used to access medical records?
Yeah, I thought about that, so I asked them. They swore up and down they didn't do credit checks. FOr one thing, I have insurance. Alternately, if there were even a question of payment they could get payment up front. Had a dentist (personal friend, even) who required his patients to pay up front and then settle with the insurance co. So, no, I don't believe it's "monetary". Regarding medical records, they would not even be able to seek medical records without my signature on a release/request.

They mentioned "identification" at first and I said I could bring them a passport/birth cert/3 picture ids, etc. They said, no, it was so they couldn't inadvertently mix up medical records. In my original post, they gave the hypothetical of same address/name/birth date. They looked a bit upset when I laughed out loud. Still, it looks like it may be just like a subpoena - i.e., they got me by the... ahem, (turn your head and cough!).

Still, if someone has heard of a way to deal with this, I'd love to hear it.
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:50 PM   #5
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When DH went to see a new doctor earlier this year, they asked for his SS, too. The clinic said it was for "identification purposes," in case there are others with the same name. I didn't believe them, since it was virtually impossible for anyone else going to the same clinic to have the same name AND date of birth as DH.

We compromised by giving a bunch of zeros and the last four digits. So far so good.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
I'm guessing someone here knows this one by CFR, Paragraph, subsection ... Koolau
Let me Google that for you:

"Social security number" +medical +required - Google Search

or this may give you enough information:

Am I Required to Give My Doctor My Social Security Number?
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:22 AM   #7
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I don't understand the big deal with hiding SSNs. Mine used to be on my driver's license. Every financial institution I ever used has it. Anyone can pay $25 to Internet detectives and get it. I assume it is not secure. We ought to use it as a universal ID number. After all, it seems to me that the only value it has is differentiating me from some other "donheff."
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:45 AM   #8
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I don't understand the big deal with hiding SSNs.
Me also. I do, however, blame the fear on the Media's "Chicken Little" stories about Identity Theft.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
I don't understand the big deal with hiding SSNs. Mine used to be on my driver's license. Every financial institution I ever used has it. Anyone can pay $25 to Internet detectives and get it. I assume it is not secure. We ought to use it as a universal ID number. After all, it seems to me that the only value it has is differentiating me from some other "donheff."
Mine didn't come up in a google search, but I got the sites that would provide info for a fee. I didn't want to click on those and enter my SS!

Though I don't know, I assume you are correct. That info must be out there. But I'd say the 000-00-XXXX is a reasonable way to comply with the office. They get their ID, and you don't get your SS spread any further than needed.


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Old 11-19-2010, 09:34 AM   #10
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Red Flag law

The “Red Flags” Rule: What Heath Care Providers Need to Know About Complying with New Requirements for Fighting Identity Theft

My doc's office used the 'red flag law' to make me fill out a little paper with my name, address, telephone, etc at every visit. Highly annoying but who really cares, not me.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:06 AM   #11
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You mentioned you have dental insurance. If you want the dentist to check on your benefits or to file the ins. papers for you, you have to have the ssn. If you were going to pay cash without any ins. discounting the fees then you shouldn't need the ssn.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:27 AM   #12
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I believe the original law for SS said that it is illegal to use as it an ID number - look what happened there.

As for ID theft - well, we used to have this stuff printed all over our ID cards and checks - not anymore. I guess I'd rather make 'em work for it versus giving them an invitation.

The idea of 0000s and last four are good until you reach 9999.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:19 AM   #13
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You mentioned you have dental insurance. If you want the dentist to check on your benefits or to file the ins. papers for you, you have to have the ssn. If you were going to pay cash without any ins. discounting the fees then you shouldn't need the ssn.
Actually, you don't. Many insurance companies no longer issue ID cards with SSN, but provide a system generated number. It was previously assumed that an SSN was a unique number -- but with so many floating around, and with legislation (see prior post), most insurance companies now issue a unique identifying number to new clients.

Doctor's offices may not be in a position to issue a unique number, and as a 'creditor' may need to collect the SSN.

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Old 11-20-2010, 07:31 PM   #14
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I don't understand the big deal with hiding SSNs. Mine used to be on my driver's license. Every financial institution I ever used has it. Anyone can pay $25 to Internet detectives and get it. I assume it is not secure. We ought to use it as a universal ID number. After all, it seems to me that the only value it has is differentiating me from some other "donheff."
Okay, well, considering that DOB and SS# is nearly all you need to steal one's ID, I'd say it's a big deal. Yes, every financial institution has it, but at least they actually need it. My Doc. doesn't really need it. It's more convenient for him, but not needed.

Making it a little harder (or expensive, e.g. $25 if you happen to be correct) limits just how many potential ID thieves will get my ID (instead of yours, perhaps?)

If you don't know anyone who has gone through the hassle and economic problems of having their ID stolen, then perhaps you really don't know what a big deal it is. I do know such a person and so I happen to think it IS a big deal. YMMV.
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:16 AM   #15
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:55 PM   #16
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A few years ago I was employed by a TPA that encountered an occasional employee who would refuse to provide us with their SSN. It's legal, as I understand it.

What we did was to assign unique number to that guy/gal (#1, for example). It was his responsibility to advise his HC providers of this fact when filing HC claims. As far as I know, this worked.
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