As many of you know, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is touted as protecting our privacy. But does it really protect us? I am frankly a bit unhappy about the situation. I got caught up in the OPM breach and we have heard of many instances where health care providers have had cybersecurity incidence and have our private health information has been stolen. HIPAA doesn’t protect us at all against these cyber threats.
And I have gotten really nervous about my information. I got a call from some company last night saying that they worked for my insurance company and they wanted to enroll me into a health program. Before we even got to step one they wanted me to reveal personal information such as my SSN in order to “prove” I was the patient. The said they couldn’t talk to me unless I provided this information because of HIPAA. They said they needed me to breach my privacy in order to “protect” my information as a patient.
I said that they were not protecting my information by forcing me to reveal private information and I demanded that they reveal information that proved their identity. Guess what, they couldn’t give me any assurance that they were who they claimed to be. No phone number at my insurer, they couldn’t confirm any information that only my insurer would know. Why in the world would anyone answer an unsolicited phone call and then give out personal private information. I told them they could send me a formal letter Aetna and that I would then call them. I felt like they were not protecting me as a patient rather they were protecting themselves against claims that they “broke” the HIPAA rules.
Is anyone else concerned about their privacy? Do you trust healthcare providers to protect your information? How do you respond to crazy interactions like this?