We’ve all been there… You’re at the doctor’s office filling out the required paperwork before the doctor sees you. On the form they ask for name, date of birth, and Social Security number. Social Security number? Why would they need that? Are you required to provide your Social Security number to receive care from your doctor? These are questions that many people should ask themselves before they provide such sensitive information.
Healthcare practices are disproportionately targeted when it comes to data breaches due to the sensitive information that they collect on their patients. So, should you provide that Social Security number when filling out those forms? Probably not. In a study done by Annals of Internal Medicine, in seventy percent of healthcare data breaches, the Social Security numbers of patients were exposed.
So, are you required to provide this information to receive care? Legally, no, but the doctor is also not required to take you as a patient if you don’t provide it. The only time you are required to provide this information is if you are being admitted into a VA hospital.
Why would a doctor need my Social Security number? There is no medical reason that a doctor would need your Social Security number. In fact, the only reason a doctor would need your Social Security number is if a billing issue arises.
When it comes to providing sensitive information such as your Social Security number, we recommend leaving that line item blank for your own protection. If the receptionist pushes the issue, politely express your concern about the risk of identity theft because healthcare organizations are targeted frequently for their data. After you express your concern, the issue will likely be dropped and you will have limited your exposure if your healthcare provider were to have a data breach.
The bottom line is that there’s really no better time than the present to become a LibertyID member for identity theft restoration protection. Our extended family plan covers the member, their spouse/partner, the member and spouse’s/partner’s parents and their children. We’re the experts at identity theft restoration, offering a 100% guaranteed identity theft restoration service. But, you have to get covered before there’s an incident. When you sign up for LibertyID, you’re covering yourself and your family from the fallout of identity theft and the potentially hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars lost due to identity theft.