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Medical Records, Medical Codes and Medical Records Privacy

From family history, to your personal medical history, to doctors' notes and test results, your medical records can be invaluable in determining both diagnosis and treatment. Those records are full of codes, obscuring the information we patients need. Learn how to get your records, decode and use them to get your best care at the best price, and know the facts about medical records privacy.
  1. Electronic Patient Records (12)
  2. Medical Billing and Coding
  3. Medical Records Codes (21)
  4. Patients Rights

Medical Records, Privacy, Accuracy and Patients' Rights
Whether our medical records are written on paper and kept in a folder, or entered into a computer file and shared with providers on the other side of the world, mistakes can be made, privacy can be violated, and patients can be harmed. Learn more about what rights patients have and how they can protect themselves from medical record errors and privacy violations.

What Patients Need to Know About Healthcare and Their Privacy
Most patients in the United States think their health or medical records are private, and never stop to consider all the ways their privacy is violated. Smart patients are aware of the many ways their privacy is lost as they simply live their lives, or access medical care.

Understanding Informed Consent
Informed consent is a concept that requires patients to understand the risks and benefits of any test, procedure or treatment a doctor recommends and a patient agrees to. Empowered patients need to understand just what they are agreeing to.

How to Get Copies of Your Medical Records
Savvy patients know that their medical records can help them make decisions about their healthcare. Federal and state laws spell out who may obtain which medical records, who must share them, how much it will cost to gain access to them, and the procedures for doing so. Here are the steps to take to get copies of your medical records.

How to Review Your Medical Records for Errors
Even the smallest discrepancy on your medical records can make a huge difference in your diagnosis or treatment. Here's how to review your medical records for errors and mistakes.

Use of Technology May Lead to More Medical Records Errors
With the advancement of technology, and the shift to digital, electronic medical records, new types of medical records errors are taking place, with possible long-term consequences for patients. Learn about these medical records errors and what to do about them.

What to Do if You are Denied Access to Your Medical Records
Even though laws are clear on who may or may not gain access to their medical records, and how those records must be shared, some patients are denied access to their medical records. Here are the steps to follow if you have been denied access to your medical records.

The Danger of Medical Identity Theft
Medical identity theft is a growing problem with negative consequences that can affect one's health and finances. A wise patient understands the possible consequences and how to avoid them.

How to Prevent Medical Identity Theft
The results of medical identity theft can be devastating. Here are some preventive steps to make sure you aren't a victim.

Report Your Medical Identity Theft Experience
If you have been a victim of medical identity theft, sharing your story will help others avoid the same horror.

Who Has Access to Your Medical Records?
Most patients in the United States think their medical records are private, to be shared only with one's family or providers. However, there are many more individuals and organizations who can get a hold of our medical records - legally, illegally or even by mistake. Here is a list of those people and organizations who have access to our medical...

The Medical Information Bureau May Have a File on You
Patient-consumers are often surprised to learn of the existence of a reporting agency called the Medical Information Bureau (MIB.) Similar to credit reporting agencies, it may have a file on you that you should be aware of.

Supermarket or Pharmacy Loyalty Rewards Card Can Affect Your Health and Care
You probably carry a loyalty reward card from your favorite supermarket or pharmacy in your wallet or on your key ring. Each time you swipe it at the check-out, you save some money on your purchases. What you may not have realized is the many ways those stores are collecting information about you that may someday affect your health and medical...

Why Does My Doctor or Hospital Need My Social Security Number?
From the FTC's Red Flags Rule to collecting debts, doctors, hospitals and other healthcare entities have begun requesting patients supply their social security numbers. Why does your doctor ask you for your social security number? Here are some of the reasons.

My Doctor Upcoded My Bill (Billed Me Fraudulently)
Readers share their stories of upcoding, and fraudulent billing.

HIPAA and Issues of Privacy and Security
HIPAA, the Health Information Portability Accountability Act, provides the basis for the sharing of healthcare information among those with a role on a patient's healthcare team. Empowered patients need an understanding of these laws to help them get the medical assistance they need.

Upcoding Can Cost You Money and Your Health
Upcoding is a practice carried out by medical providers that pays them more money than they have earned. It's a fraudulent practice that forces patients to pay for upcoding from their wallets, and with their health. If you understand upcoding, you'll know how to help stop it.

11 Myths About HIPAA, Patients and Medical Records Privacy
Patients may think their privacy is protected by the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) or they may think HIPAA just gets in the way of their care. There are any number of assumptions patients make about HIPAA that just aren't true.

EMRs and PHRs -- Electronic Patient Health and Medical Record Keeping
EMRs, Electronic Medical Records, and PHRs, personal health records, will soon be coming to a computer near you -- in your doctor's office, or your own home. Learn what they are, how you can control or review their information, and why they may, or may not, improve your health care.

Recording Your Family Health History
Your family medical history can help you and your doctor determine a diagnosis, or help you avoid the risk factors that may lead to disease. A family medical history is also a wonderful gift to share with your children.

A Tool for Recording Your Family Health and Medical History
The US Surgeon General has developed a great online application to help us record our family health history. Learn how to maximize use of this tool.

Medical or Clinical Scribes and How They Influence Your Care
A Medical or Clinical Scribe may be present when you see your doctor or may transcribe your visit from another location. Who are these scribes and what are the benefits and problems that may result from their presence and their work?

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