How Informed Is Patients' Consent to Release of Medical Information to Insurance Companies?
Lorge, Robert E.
BMJ (British Medical Journal). 1989 Jun 3; 298(6686): 1495-1496.
A study was conducted to assess how informed the consent of patients is to the release of confidential information to insurance companies. Questionnaires were sent to...patients...whose general practitioners had received requests to complete a personal medical attendant's report for an insurance company...More than half of the patients (52%) could not recall having given their consent and 40% had...objections to the questions commonly asked by insurance companies. Questions about sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS led to the greatest proportion of objections...Over half (57%) of the respondents expected their doctor to withhold sensitive information. Of the patients who gave their informed consent, 68% did not expect that their doctor would be asked to answer one or more of the common questions. In most cases the consent of patients to the release of confidential information to insurance companies is neither knowingly given nor informed.
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