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Portable health records?
Old 07-02-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
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Portable health records?

I saw an older thread about Microsoft's Healthvault and I know about Google Health. Both are places where individuals (and their health care providers) can store health care information (prescriptions, test results, etc). As my wife and I prepare to move overseas, having access to our health records from the US seems prudent. I'm wondering if anyone is using either of the two sites listed above? Or, generally speaking, how do expat retirees deal with the issue of health records?

Thanks!
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:54 PM   #2
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It sounds like overkill to me. I just take pictures of my important health records and save them in a secret email account. In the same account, I store pictures of my credit cards (front and back), Identification, etc.

I also keep the health record pictures on my computer, since there is nothing there I am worried about getting stolen.

They really are not that complicated. What is more important is that you understand them and communicate this to your physicians overseas. For instance, knowing your prescriptions and the reasons for them, etc.

Also, you may have to get used to asking for your records. When I left Kaiser insurance in the USA, I asked for copies of all my records, which they thought was a strange request (and I had to pay some nominal fee I think). But I wanted them mostly to help me apply accurately for private USA health insurance. Overseas, you will find that most medical professionals are more cognizant of giving you your medical records.

I don't actually ever give these records to overseas doctors or dentists that I see (admittedly, I am healthy). They are mostly for my own recollection, and I communicate what I know to any medical people overseas. For instance, if I was going in for a physical, I would make a note of any abnormal blood test readings from last year. I took a picture of each page of last year's report (I don't actually travel with any records in paper form).

If you have an HSA account, you will want to keep receipts and spending records for your taxes. I also take pictures of these once a year and store them and I keep the paper in the USA.

Kramer
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Old 07-03-2010, 07:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by kramer View Post
It sounds like overkill to me. I just take pictures of my important health records and save them in a secret email account. In the same account, I store pictures of my credit cards (front and back), Identification, etc.
+1 I keep copies of credit cards. licenses, and passports online but I hadn't thought of health records. Not sure I have any that would be worth posting. Do you people only post records if they have critical info or do you post routine stuff like your most recent (nothing to see here) lab results?
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:40 AM   #4
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+1 I keep copies of credit cards. licenses, and passports online but I hadn't thought of health records. Not sure I have any that would be worth posting. Do you people only post records if they have critical info or do you post routine stuff like your most recent (nothing to see here) lab results?
Yeah, I just keep things stored that are important somehow. For instance, in Colombia last year as part of my physical I got a blood and urine test, and they measured maybe 50 different things. So I have pictures of it stored. I store my eye prescription this way.

And then I keep a record of my receipts which is for long term HSA expense tracking.

For things like MRI's, many hospitals in Asia will provide these to you on a DVD.

I see two important points there.

1) Know what records are actually useful and then make it clear that you want them. Store them in a portable way with backups.

2) Intuitively understand your physical conditions and prescriptions and reasons for them. I doubt most physicians ever give more than a cursory glance at old medical records.
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