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Disclosure by medical aid
Jul 17, 2001

Hi Doctor I work for a company (outside the US) which has an inhouse medical aid (self insured). Was diagnosed in Nov 2000. I am not on medication yet, but have had 2 sets of blood work. Recently I got a call from the medical aid healthcare managers to ask me about the tests and was asked to fill in a consent form to have access to my medical records from my physician so they can monitor my treatment costs. I was very annoyed by this and I feel there was a break in confidentiality. Does my medical aid have a right to disclose my medical information without my consent and do they have a right to assume my HIV status from only two sets of bloodwork?

Response from Mr. Berg

I know this must be very stressfull for you. This kind of disclosure is very difficult. Unfortunately, the bottom line with self-insured plans is that medical information can be disclosed to the employer for claim paying purposes. Any information the employer learns about an employee in this manner must be kept confidential and cannot be used to discriminate against the employee. They can only disclose limited information. This is why thay are asking you to sign the release authorization for your full records.

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