Workplace Medical Records
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What Types of Information is in My Medical Records?
Your medical records provide a comprehensive look into your physical health and activity. The personal data you submit to certain insurers may also be noted in your record. The majority of information included in your medical record pertains to:
- Medical history;
- Laboratory test results;
- Prescribed medications;
- Lifestyle details; and
- Family medical history.
Does My Employer Have Access To My Medical Records?
An employer can access an employee's medical records for a background check only if:
- the employee agrees in writing to share the information; or
- if a court orders access.
In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act has set certain regulations for large companies seeking employee medical information or requiring medical examinations.
How Does My Employer Maintain Medical Records?
Under the federal law, all employers are obligated to keep medical records separate from ordinary personnel records.
Can My Employer Distribute Medical Records?
Along with other federal and state laws, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulates employers' access to and control over personal medical records. The regulation discusses security and asserts that organizations must protect patient privacy and avoid deliberate or inadvertent misuse or disclosure.
How Can I Protect My Medical Records?
There are numerous ways to protect your privacy. One if to specify in your employment contract that medical records are to remain confidential. Also, you may request in writing that your doctor not disclose specific conditions, although this could be expensive since insurance reimbursement is conditioned on the insurer's access to information.
Do I Need An Employment Lawyer?
An attorney practicing employment law will be familiar with information concerning your medical records in the workplace and have access to the most applicable and relevant policies regarding your questions.
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Last Modified: 10-14-2013 04:13 PM PDT
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