How to Insure Your Medical Records Are Correct and Why You Should Care

Tracking your family’s medical records is a primary factor involved with prevention of illness and effective handling of medical emergencies. A record of your family’s medical history documents essential medical data such as your weight, height, cholesterol, blood pressure, and allergies to drugs for instance.

It also should include a personal history as well as a family history and contain health conditions and associated treatments, diseases that tend to run in your family as well as details on immunizations and allergies. In an emergency or trip to another state, this information could play a key role in the quality of care you receive.

It should be apparent to you exactly why such a record would certainly be vital if a health situation occurred. Having your medical information when you need it gives you added control over your physical health and could very well be critical in carrying out treatment decisions. Urgent conditions also require the ability to immediately have available information regarding matters such as prescription drugs, a person’s blood type, and allergic reaction info.

You may be operating under the mistaken assumption that your health practitioner or medical center is keeping all your essential medical data in the event you need it, but unfortunately this is not always the situation. Less than half the states in the United States have laws ensuring the general public the right to their medical files. In addition countless people who have asked for and received copies of their medical records have discovered inaccuracies, errors, and issues.

Furthermore, medical records maintained by medical related practices are frequently incomplete. There are a number of life situations that could result in your medical records being incomplete. You may possibly move a number of times in your lifetime and switch medical professionals each time. Your assorted health professionals may not always keep one another abreast of your conditions and the associated treatment.

Many times, an effort to patch together a personal medical history turns into a useless exploration through previous bills and health insurance archives. All this info should have been gathered up before a health emergency.

Some of the medical information you may want to keep on your own include emergency numbers for the police and fire departments as well as doctors and poison control centers.

You will also want to keep a record of the diseases or conditions that have occurred in your family along with info such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood types, and immunization records for instance.

You want to keep track of all your preventative screenings and a result of all those screenings as well as hospital and laboratory records. Also it is a good idea to allergies, along with symptoms, and treatments. If you are a woman, you want to make sure that you have access to all gynecological records.

Also include any prescription or over the counter medications you are currently taking.

Write to your medical practice and request a copy of your medical records. You will find that even though your state does not have a law guaranteeing you access, many will respond. You might even offer to pay for the costs of photocopying for instance. If you are refused access, demand that the practice put the denial in writing.

Keeping a good handle on your medical records is a good step towards insuring that you will receive the treatment that you need if the occasion ever arises.

Medical Information Affects Our Health

All of us need to acquire ourselves with some knowledge about medical. We may need it at one time or another. Some of these information may even decide death or life. Unfortunately, all these information can be costly. Also, they can be quite difficult to understand. As medical research advances, much of the information also quickly become outdated.

Due to the cost, not many people would want to buy these books from book stores. Those who are pursuing their education in medical field are those who will be greatly affected. Many would just rely on articles published in newspaper. Even though there are plenty of free medical magazines that is available for subscriptions, many are not even aware of them. Instead, they rely on pamphlets that may be collected from hospitals.

With the advance of information technology, a lot of things changes. You can now easily search for any information easily. Just use a search engine and type in whatever information that you may need. Not only it is convenient, it is cheap and speedy too.

Advance in information technology also enabled the automation of patient’s records. Doctors can easily pull out any related information quickly. They can also quickly update the latest development through a computer in their room. Publishers are also making full use of the latest technology to update their books.

The problem that many people find with online searching is that most of the information required is all over the place. It can sometimes be frustrating trying to find the relevant information. There must be some ways to make things easier. You may try the following tips on how to quickly find your necessary resources.

First, you need to know for sure what you are looking for. Be as specific as you can. Try limiting your search area to geographic location. This is all the more true if you are looking for services that you can assess to.

Searching for stuffs over the internet is just the first step. You should try to verify if the information that you have obtained is correct. Always have an inquisitive mind. Only rely on things that sound logic. It may be a hassle to always verify information, but this will not only benefit you, but your family as well.

Compare articles that you have read with articles written by someone else. The problem is, sometimes we just take in all the information that is presented to us. Check it out with any other healthcare journals that you can find. You may also ask your family doctor if what you have read is accurate.

For serious matters, you may even seek another doctor’s opinion. Clarifying with another sources will certainly put your heart at rest. At least, all the additional comments that you received will help you to shape your own opinion on the issues.

If you obtained your information through publication, you can always write to the editor to seek clarification. You can also write directly to the author of the article. Just imagine the consequences of misinterpreting the information that has been presented to us.

When buying medical equipments, try to compare the prices and products between different merchandiser. Always check the reputation of the merchandiser. In the market today, there are always bad copies of good products.

Preventing Medical ID Theft – Are You at Risk of Becoming a Victim?

Preventing medical ID theft has become a hot topic as Americans increasingly hear about the safety of their private medical records as more medical breeches continue to be discovered. Medical ID theft happens when a person uses someone’s identity to obtain medical services or steal money by falsifying claims for medical services. Identity thieves use a person’s Social Security number, insurance information, or other forms of identification to commit the medical ID theft.

Medical ID theft can have a devastating effect on victims, causing collections issues, credit problems, and even bankruptcy. But that’s not all. The type of medical treatment obtained by the identity thief can also prevent the victim from getting medical insurance or medical services themselves because, as far as the insurance company is concerned, the victim now has a “pre-existing” condition.

According to the FTC, medical ID theft accounts for three percent of all ID theft cases, or approximately 250,000 cases per year. Unfortunately, these medical ID theft statistics are expected to grow, especially with the shift to electronic medical records.

Preventing Medical ID Theft: The Unemployed and Uninsured

Due to their difficult circumstances, some groups are at a higher risk for becoming identity thieves. The unemployed and uninsured may use another person’s identity because of a belief that it’s the only way they can receive quality medical care. Since they’re unemployed, they don’t have access to an employer’s healthcare benefits, and they can’t afford to buy medical insurance because they don’t have a job. It’s a vicious cycle, and it can make good people do bad things.

Preventing Medical ID Theft: Illegal Immigration

Illegal immigration also poses a serious threat as medical ID theft continues to rise. When an illegal immigrant steals private information such as an individual’s Social Security number, he or she can obtain identification and numerous services reserved for legal residents. If precautions aren’t taken to prevent medical ID theft, an illegal immigrant can get a passport, driver’s license, bank account, credit card, loan, mortgage, insurance, medical treatment, and many other services.

Preventing Medical ID Theft in Five Steps

Begin preventing medical ID theft by following these five easy steps:

1. Have your Social Security number removed from your insurance records. If your Social Security number is currently on your insurance card, don’t carry your card with you. Keep it in a safe place and only carry a photocopy with all but the last four digits of your Social Security number blacked out.

2. Obtain copies of your credit reports, insurance claims, and medical records. Lock them in a safe or safety deposit box, or place them on a CD or flash drive.

3. Next, regularly review your credit reports, insurance claims, and medical records for suspicious entries, such as a medical treatment that was never performed on you.

4. Immediately address disputes on your explanation of benefits, bills for medical services you never received, or any other charges that could be sent to collections and damage your credit. These need to be investigated and removed from your records.

5. Don’t leave a paper trail. Destroying sensitive information you no longer need is another critical step in preventing medical ID theft, so shred claims that are more than seven years old. Also, ask if your provider’s office performs background checks employees to prevent medical ID theft rings and stolen medical information.

Preventing medical ID theft takes vigilance. Medical ID thieves are doing everything to stay one step ahead of you and the authorities, so use medical ID theft prevention strategies to protect your private information.

Cancer: Finding Reliable Medical Information On The Internet – Five Tips To Help You

The medical environment has changed completely with the introduction of the internet and the proliferation of web sites offering free medical and healthcare information.

In today’s world, more and more patients are using the internet to search for information about their diseases and for the latest treatment options. In fact, according to a recent Harris Interactive survey, more than 100 million adults in the U.S. are using the internet to search for health information.

Gone are the days when patients passively accepted the treatment offered by their doctors. Today, patients are partners in the decision making about their health.

So, the obvious question is – How reliable is the medical information you find on these free medical web sites?

By the way, the fact that there are incredible free medical and healthcare information web sites on the internet doesn’t necessarily make it easy to find good information.

For example, if you just enter the term Breast Cancer into Google a total of 130 million sites come up. Obviously, no one is going to look at all those sites -in fact, most people rarely look beyond the sites listed on the front page or two.

As wonderful as the internet is as a resource, you must remember that there is a potential downside as well. In the healthcare market, just like in any other market, there are commercial entities trying to sell you a product. Some products may be legitimate but some may be scam cures just trying to take advantage of a cancer patient’s desperation.

And, since the internet is largely unregulated, there is little regulation of the marketing messages.

So here are five tips as you try to determine if the medical information web site you’re visiting is reliable or not:

1. What Is The Ending Of The Website Name?

There are a number of sources of medical information on the internet which tend to be more reliable and trustworthy. These sources are more likely to be universities, hospitals, government agencies, and major public health and health advocacy organizations such as a national cancer society.

The ending of the web site can give you a clue as to the source. For example, the ending:

.gov means that the source is a government agency;
.edu means that the source is a university or another educational institution;
.com means that the source is run privately and very well may be a commercial enterprise);
.org means that the source is a non-profit organization.

2. Who Is Responsible For The Site And What Is The Mission Of The Site?

Look to see if there is any information on who is responsible for the site and what the mission of the site is. On many web sites you’ll see a link, either at the top or bottom of the page, which says something like “About US” or “Who We Are”.

Click on the link and see what information you find.

3. Is The Medical Information Presented On The Site Scientific Or Anecdotal?

If medical information is presented on the web site then you should ask yourself is the information scientific or not. To be considered reliable, medical advances must be proven in scientific studies in which many patients are involved. Anecdotal studies of one patient’s response to a treatment are not considered to be reliable despite the fact that the stories may be extremely compelling. So, check out the web site. Are the medical facts presented as the results of documented studies or are anecdotal, undocumented stories of patients presented.

Also, check to see if references are presented if the results of studies are discussed. Are the studies from respected medical journals?

4. Who Are The Authors Of The Medical Information On The Site?

Check to see who the authors are. What are the credentials of the authors? If necessary, you can even search using the author’s names to see how well known they are in their fields.

5. How Up To Date Is The Medical Information?

Medicine is a rapidly changing field and you’ll want to make sure that the health information at the site you’re searching is updated frequently. If the information isn’t updated regularly, they you may not learn about the latest developments.

The internet provides wonderful opportunities for patients to find the latest and best healthcare information. Using these tips can help you make sure the information you find is reliable and trustworthy.