Patients Should Not Lie to Their Doctors – Find One Who Will Keep 2 Sets of Records for you – One Private and One for Sharing
Posted Jun 07 2009 10:42pm
This was the recommendation made in the article below. The study from WedMD stated too that a big percentage of doctors felt lying for their patients was ok too, as they are helping them get the care they need. Over half surveyed thought it was ok and the more serious the condition, the more inclined physicians were to take the stance. It all boils down to insurance once more, the industry we don’t trust. We saw it all on the big screen with Sicko the movie.
Sometimes the complicated algorithms for coverage are too much, like forgetting about one small item like an ear infection, a case of acne, a yeast infection that occurred many years ago, but the payers use those omissions to deny claims and coverage. So, gee, why do are patients inclined to lie? Sometimes there are more important things in life than “having to be right” all the time. When we can’t get beyond healthcare as humans and use items as such to deny care what does it say for the industry and business itself. It seems to appear we are not getting much closer in Congress either on a health plan so I’m guessing we will end up with some kind of a government plan simply by default, as nobody seems to be giving an inch and greed still predominates.
Sure technology is reshaping healthcare, but new devices and discoveries should be available and covered for treatment plans. My own personal opinion is that I would rather see a little fraud get through in the process (which I am not a fan of by any means) rather than tightening down the hatches to where those who need care are denied, but fraud is down to being non existent, besides we have some pretty fancy data systems today that are ahead of the game and catch a lot of it before it happens. Right now we are still digging out of much of what has occurred in the past with fraud and as transparency continues to grow there will be more. You know if more claims were paid, they might just save some money on legal costs too. We need an honest business model here somewhere along the line, and again how big are those reserves or rainy day funds?
So in the meantime, as the one individual suggested here, find the MD who will keep 2 sets of records for you. If we didn’t have to worry about our healthcare needs being taken care of, the one file system could work.
One other small note, is if you have a PHR and the insurance companies are actually honest enough to share all that is on file for you, that would also help tremendously so you could see what they have on file and you might perhaps correct some errors too at the same time. Also, with your PHR, you can decide too on what parts of your health record that you might want to share too and if complete enough maybe your records from the doctor would not be needed, just a thought. BD
That patients lie is one of the basics doctors learn in medical school. Of 1,500 responders to a 2004 online survey by WebMD, 45% admitted they hadn't always told it exactly like it was -- with 13% saying they had "lied," and 32% saying they had "stretched the truth."
Not included in those figures would be patients who "lie" without knowing they do so by withholding information because it slips their mind or they have no idea it could be useful. (Maybe Aunt Agnes would gladly tell about the time she snored so loud she woke the neighbors if she knew that a diagnosis of sleep apnea could depend on it.)
Patients also are prone to lying about the fact that they engage in social taboos, things their doctor might not approve of. In the WebMD survey, 22% lied about smoking, 17% about sex, 16% about drinking and 12% about recreational drug use. "When you're studying psychiatry, you're taught that if a patient says, 'I use cocaine once a month,' you figure it's twice a month," says Dr. Robert Klitzman, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University. "We were taught to double."
But co-workers, parents and spouses aren't the only threats hanging over a patient's head. Health insurance is another. And so -- not surprisingly -- sometimes people lie in order to keep something out of their medical records or out of the hands of their insurance companies.
But in fact, it's only confidential until it isn't. Whenever patients apply to buy individual insurance policies, and whenever they file claims under policies they own, the insurance company can request their medical records. And it doesn't take much in a patient's records to nix the sale of a policy. "A case of acne can do it," says Jerry Flanagan, an advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.
Clarke suggests patients have two sets of medical records, a private one between patient and doctor and another for sharing with others. "The solution is not to lie to your physician but to establish private records that won't be released to third parties," he says. "If your physician won't do that, it's reason enough to leave the physician."