SSN number requested on patient information form-would you fill it in?

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Posted 4/9/2014 by birukitty in NSBR Board

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 35,782
April 2002
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Posted: 4/9/2014 8:40:54 PM
So I'm sitting here filling out the information form to see the dermatologist tomorrow and after filling in my name, birth date, address, phone numbers, insurance info, I see that they not only want my social security number but also my husband's, along with his full name and birth date.

This is not a new doctor for us. Okay, I haven't seen her for a few years, but DH has seen her recently.

I'm just not comfortable filling in the SSN numbers and handing it over to the people at the doctor's office. I mean, you can never be too careful right? We keep hearing that, and we keep hearing not to give out this info. How do I know who they have hired? All it would take would be for someone at that office to pull this info and open a new credit card-right?

Am I being overly cautious? Why do they need it anyway since we have insurance and I've given all of the insurance information? Would you fill in the information?

Debbie in MD.


PeaNut 259,367
April 2006
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Loc: Midwest

Posted: 4/9/2014 8:43:36 PM
I do not. They do not question my leaving it blank. I think they think it is risky, as well.


PeaNut 337,614
September 2007
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Posted: 4/9/2014 8:43:48 PM
I never do. If they really need it, they can track me down. They never have.


PeaNut 434,965
August 2009
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Loc: Puget Sound

Posted: 4/9/2014 8:48:59 PM
No. They have no legal right to ask for it. I was looking for a GYN a few years ago, and refused to give my ss# over the phone (and I wouldn't have given it in person either). The receptionist stated that I would have to provide it, it was required. I went elsewhere.

Trying to live each day for itself

scrappin jen

PeaNut 111,615
October 2003
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Posted: 4/9/2014 8:49:09 PM
I never do. Our insurance is under my husband so I do give his name but not Ss#.

"Surrounded by thugs."

PeaNut 16,228
June 2001
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Loc: SW Chicago suburbs

Posted: 4/9/2014 9:01:44 PM
I never do. I have been asked for it by every dr. and dentist I've seen (for me or my kids) in the last ten years at least. I always leave it blank. I've never been questioned about it.


PeaNut 232,220
November 2005
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Loc: Humble, TX

Posted: 4/9/2014 9:04:03 PM
I always need my dh's since our insurance is in his name. I usually give the last 4 digits and they're ok with that. Did you know everyone who would see your paperwork when you hired on to a new company? They could be just as bad and there are probably lots of people who have access. There are 6 people in my company who have access to our payroll system and could easily pull a list of ssn. Then let's count the person you hand your application to, any managers and supervisors who look at the application and whoever has access to their desk, then, in our company, the application/new hire paperwork would need to be mailed to our main office. There's another receptionist who puts the confidential envelope in HR's box that is in a common area and it sits there for a day or more before she picks it up to put it in a locked filing cabinet but not before being scanned into our network.


PeaNut 370,270
April 2008
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Posted: 4/9/2014 9:08:08 PM
We ask for it on the paperwork for new patients at the Dr's office where I work. Some people fill it in, some don't. It really makes no difference. However, some insurance companies require that we use that to get an authorization. So even though you don't fill it out, you may still need to give the information verbally to someone.


PeaNut 10,896
February 2001
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Loc: Florida

Posted: 4/9/2014 9:09:27 PM
I have always left it blank on the form. I probably would give it if they noticed I hadn't written it down, but they've never asked. I just don't like the idea of my ssn being unnecessarily written on papers everywhere.


PeaNut 23,080
October 2001
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Loc: where seasons change

Posted: 4/9/2014 9:17:42 PM
Nope never. They don't need to know it and the insurance doesn't need it either.


PeaNut 548,462
March 2012
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Posted: 4/9/2014 9:24:53 PM
No NEVER!!! I had my social security number stolen from a doctor's office years ago.


PeaNut 69,360
February 2003
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Posted: 4/9/2014 9:26:12 PM
Unfortunately Tri-To-Care uses the sponsors #, so his gets used in the insurance number. But no, I don't give it.

I don't have any control over who can see it once it's in the system, but I sure as heck have control over who *I* give it to.

~ Anna ~
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PEAceful Pea

PeaNut 14,521
April 2001
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Loc: Washington State

Posted: 4/9/2014 10:03:17 PM
I leave it blank. Our insurance company no longer uses SSNs for employee IDs. It's never been an issue.



PeaNut 465,906
April 2010
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Loc: Northern Virginia

Posted: 4/9/2014 10:23:33 PM
**Tri-To-Care**. Snort. How have I never heard this before?

Remember the days when we had to write our sponsor's SS# when we wrote a check at the commissary or BX? Ah, the good old days. I'm sure those checks passed into many nefarious hands.

School/sports/scout forms always ask for the insurance card number. I just write "father's SS #" in the blank. No one has ever asked for it. I do give it on medical forms because that's how the billing is done in the military.

Isn't there some service that you can pay for where you can get SS #s? For private investigators?

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Burning Feather
I conceived but I can't see you

PeaNut 158,336
July 2004
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Loc: Ain't no black widow serial killer going to get between me and my man

Posted: 4/9/2014 10:46:50 PM
Now I feel incredibly stupid because it never occurred to me not to provide it to a medical provider. I guess I know that our insurance company stopped using SS# as ID, but for some reason, it just never dawned on me that I don't have to provide it.

Great. Now I'm going to worry about my number being used.

Thanks Peas. You always know how to make me worry about crap I never even thought of.


PEAdiatric pea

PeaNut 15,872
May 2001
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Loc: USA

Posted: 4/9/2014 11:07:19 PM
I always have; never once had an issue.

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ScraPEA Suzy the Purr-ple Pea

PeaNut 67,643
February 2003
Posts: 16,809
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Loc: Peachtree City, GA

Posted: 4/10/2014 1:44:51 AM
I do, and I'll tell you why.

I work in the ER, registering patients. The absolute most secure way to identify you (and make sure we have signed in the right patient) is by your SSN, because no one else will have that, though they may have your same name and date of birth, and it remains the same whether you change your name (for marriage/divorce or whatever). We don't require it, but when we explain why we ask for it, most patients don't mind giving it to us.

As for this

Tri-To-Care uses the sponsors #, so his gets used in the insurance number
if you have a newer Military ID card, it does not have the sponsers SSN on it, but has a Benefits # on the back that we use instead. If you can't be bothered to have a Military ID, then yes, we do use the sponsor's SSN.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 479,777
August 2010
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Posted: 4/10/2014 6:03:57 AM
I don't. Usually because it's for my kids and I don't have theirs memorized. No one has ever given me any trouble over it.

Helen *Mc
Gone Walkabout

PeaNut 4,068
April 2000
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Loc: Aussie in SC. USA

Posted: 4/10/2014 6:43:56 AM
I've been told at both a couple of dd's hospital appt and doctors offices that if we don't give them our SSN, no appt. I didn't get a choice. I don't like it though.

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Happy now?

PeaNut 156,993
July 2004
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Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 4/10/2014 7:12:47 AM
I always leave it blank. I figure if they really need it at some point, they can get it from me. But until they need it, it stays with me.

Happy now?

PeaNut 156,993
July 2004
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Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 4/10/2014 7:14:11 AM

I work in the ER, registering patients.

To me, that's different than putting it down on some form kept in a doctor's office. I don't mind giving it if I'm in the ER. But just writing it down on a registration form at my OB/GYN or dentist?


You know what grinds my gears?

PeaNut 242,768
January 2006
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Loc: Where the rabbits roam free....

Posted: 4/10/2014 8:02:47 AM
well, I don't have a choice. my insurance, my dh's insurance AND my dd's insurance are all under our ssn's, so it's never been an issue for me to provide it. and it has NEVER been a problem, our ssn's have never been stolen. I always thought they requested it in case you didn't pay your bills, easier to sue you and post it on your credit report.


PeaNut 179,915
December 2004
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Loc: Wisconsin

Posted: 4/10/2014 8:09:17 AM
I leave it blank. And I work in a clinic where we mail out a demographic form ahead of time, and I am amazed at how many people do fill it in. Many people write 'will provide in office' - which is smart. They don't mind giving it, but don't want that written information out floating around.

The SSN truly is VERY helpful for medical offices to track down patient records. Like another poster said above, it's the only true way to confirm you have the correct patient.

Typical Liberal

PeaNut 221,236
August 2005
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Loc: Houston

Posted: 4/10/2014 8:10:06 AM
I don't write it on doctor's/dentist's office forms. They don't need it. I would put it, if needed, on an ER form - but if I've never been to that ER/hospital before I'm not sure what good it would do. It would make good sense for the hospital to generate its own unique IDs for each patient anyway.

Leads a Charmed Life

PeaNut 43,843
July 2002
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Loc: East Coast

Posted: 4/10/2014 8:35:35 AM
I always leave it blank. But there's been times I've shown up at a new doctor without my insurance card, then I have to give it.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 9,019
January 2001
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Loc: michigan

Posted: 4/10/2014 8:55:10 AM
Your insurance company identifies you by your ssn

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Will trade mosquitoes for cookies.

PeaNut 416,788
March 2009
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Loc: Living in Kim's Perfect World, again.

Posted: 4/10/2014 11:02:43 AM

I'm just not comfortable filling in the SSN numbers and handing it over to the people at the doctor's office.

You haven't been to recently, have you?

If PC is the way to get to Heaven, I'm going straight to Hell.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 35,782
April 2002
Posts: 5,098
Layouts: 1

Posted: 4/10/2014 12:05:01 PM
Thanks Peas so very much for all of your replies. I thought I was right going with my gut and not filling it in. My appointment is in an hour and a half. I knew the Peas would have the answer.

Debbie in MD.


PeaNut 570,169
October 2012
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Layouts: 0

Posted: 4/10/2014 12:12:45 PM
I always leave it blank. Only our sports medicine dr asks- demands- we give it. If we're there it's an emergency-like situation so it doesn't take a long debate before I cave and give it.

Ridiculous given the amount of information they have about us, I feel it's a desk clerk power play.


PeaNut 465,906
April 2010
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Loc: Northern Virginia

Posted: 4/10/2014 1:06:03 PM
Interesting that the new military ID cards don't have the sponsor's SS. My card expires in August, so it's several years old. And it does have DH's SS on it, but my SS spot just has Xs.

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PeaNut 233,506
November 2005
Posts: 4,043
Layouts: 5
Loc: Centerville, OH

Posted: 4/10/2014 3:33:53 PM
If your insurance carrier has not provided you with an alternate ID#, it's the only other way for your claims to be paid. If we don't need it for claims processing, we don't ask for it.

Married to my dentist for a quarter of a century, mom to teenage daughter and four-legged fur factory.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 35,782
April 2002
Posts: 5,098
Layouts: 1

Posted: 4/10/2014 4:46:54 PM
I so have an insurance ID card with an ID# so I'm not going to fill it in. With identify theft on the rise it's too much of a risk to me. This is the first doctor's office I have seen that has asked for it.

Debbie in MD.

Capt. Sparrow's Pirate Wench

PeaNut 217,886
August 2005
Posts: 16,684
Layouts: 44

Posted: 4/10/2014 5:54:26 PM
I give it, because it's not private.

I'm not for one second going to believe that I have any privacy what-so-ever so long as the government is run the way it is run.

I truly believe that SS #'s are a false sense of security and give us nothing more than an illusion of safe identity protection.

Our government cannot get a single website to work, I sincerely doubt that a group of people who allows the NSA to spy on citizens has done much in the way of securing our private numbers from hackers.


"You can make excuses or you can make progress but you can't make both."
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