patient social security numbers....

<< < (2/2)


--- Quote ---I will not give out my social security number to a medical provider's office.  It has never been an issue, but I haven't needed any prescriptions for controlled substances.  My son wanted my social when he went to a minor emergency clinic.  He is 23 and on my insurance.  I told him that his insurance card and driver's license are sufficient information along with my DOB.
--- End quote ---

My pharmacy does not have my SS #, neither do my doctors and I have received meds for controlled substances. SS #'s are NOT supposed to be used for identification and if your insurance company does not use the social security number for payment there is no reason involving healthcare that they need it.

True, we can also accept the PMI # (state Medicaid insurance #) instead to look up patients in our state's system. But the eligibility verification through the state tells us the SSN anyway when we look up the patient if they have any type of Medicare. We have to have either one of the numbers plus the birthdate to look up the patient. And of course some people are residents but not citizens so do not have SSN at all.

My two cents....

We don't ask for SS#'s at my office, and haven't for years.(My boss refuses to give her's out at  doctor offices, so she won't ask for it from her patients, unless we can't bill a claim without it) Our collection agency does not need them, and unless the patient has Medicare, or some odd union insurance that still uses SS#'s, there is no other reason to get that number. The controlled substance website we use does not need them either. I am in Illinois, so it may be different for other states. We don't bill Medicaid, so that does not come into play.

For the remote billing I do, for providers in GA, PA, and FL, their new patient packets ask for SS#'s, but again, it is not necessary for the patient to provide it, and many don't, and it is not a problem. They all have Medicaid patients, and so long as they have the Medicaid number, they are fine. None of those states requires SS#'s in order to verify Medicaid benefits.

For me, personally, living in Illinois...I NEVER give my SS# to a doctor's office. They don't need it, I know they don't need it, and any reason they give me for supposedly needing it is shot down by me. Again, this could be a state to state thing, but I am fully aware that both collection agencies and the controlled substance website(neither of which has ever applied to me as a patient) in Illinois do not need that number, so I will not give it out. To bill my insurance they don't need it. I make sure before I see a new doctor that this will not be a problem, and if they insist on having that number, I find another doctor.

You may want to consider a few things, if this is an ongoing issue at your office...
1. Find a collection agency that doesn't require SS#'s in order to do their job.
2. Only take SS#'s from a patient who requires a controlled substance, in order to check the CS website in your state.
3. Only take SS#'s from patients where you absolutely need it in order to submit a claim(Medicare, and possibly other insurances, depending on the insurance)

Most of our providers ask for the SSN but the patient has the right to refuse.  Not one of them push the issue.  To be honest most do not need it for any reason, it just seems to be a standard question on the intake forms.  Collection agencies only need the SSN if they are going to report to the credit reporting agencies, at least that is what we were told by a collection agency.  From the billing aspect, we do not need them if we have current, accurate billing ids.  They are helpful if we do not have accurate info as many insurances allow you to search by SSN.

Collection agencies, courts, and govt agencies don't need SS# to report to credit bureau's anymore. We use a few different ones and the slips we sign with the charges don't contain SS#'s.


[0] Message Index

[*] Previous page

Go to full version