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DirectLabs Privacy Concerns?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 26, 2011 at 4:37 PM

A number of people have written on this forum about Direct Labs, but I haven't seen this question addressed: do you trust what they do with your test results?

The HIPPA Privacy Notice page on DirectLabs web site says:

(https://directlabs.com/MyDLS/HIPAAPrivacyNotice/tabid/91/language/en-US/Default.aspx


"We may use and disclose your medical records for each of the following purposes: treatment, payment, and health care operations:

TREATMENT means providing, coordinating, or managing health care and related services by one or more health care providers

PAYMENT means such activities as obtaining reimbursement for services, billing or collection activities and utilization review.

HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS include the business aspects of running our laboratory service practice, such as conducting quality assessment and improvement activities, auditing functions, cost-management analysis and customer service."


The "Treatment" section and, to a lesser extent, the "Health Care Operations" section, seem to be big enough to drive a truck through. It's one thing for LabCorp and my doctor to have the results, but I wonder about giving them to a private company. I don't know why Direct Labs would "coordinate or manage health care and related services" for me.

Does anyone else share my concerns about this? (I thought about having the tests done under a fake name, but they require a driver's license.)

Thanks!

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on May 24, 2011
at 09:52 PM

That is a standard HIPPA disclosure. You are asked to sign that at any physician's office for any visit. It doesn't mean anyone can go snooping through your test results without a reason. That language is there if you wanted to have your insurer pick up the tab. It just means that they can ask LabCorp what the tests were so they can decide if they're going to pay or not. They can't just give your results to any other entity without permission since that would be a violation of HIPPA, and hence, a federal crime.

4a7929c2aa05bf11349d9e55cb542d47

(646)

on April 27, 2011
at 09:11 PM

You could try contacting direct labs and claim you don't have a drivers license. Or you could just "accidentally" typo the number. They may only store the number and do no actual verification against the ID. Direct Labs probably wants to do business with you either way, but this record keeping policy is a minor hurdle... you might find a way around it if you try hard enough.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on April 26, 2011
at 08:37 PM

Yeah, I thought of that, too, but I'd have to have a fake driver's license - they ask for it. If only I knew some under-age teenagers who could tell me where to get a fake I.D.!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 26, 2011
at 05:09 PM

Nah, I run on a fairly laid back policy with this stuff though. There is nothing in my medical records I am trying to hide. Maybe if there was, I'd be more worried?

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 26, 2011
at 04:59 PM

That sucks - I would recommend not using them until you are fully satisfied with the answer that you get. Have you tried other labs - or do they all have similar policies?

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on April 26, 2011
at 04:56 PM

I called and talked with 3 different people - none of whom had ever read their HIPPA policy, or could even find it on their own web site. They had no idea what it means, and answered instead with vague reassurances such as, "oh, we would never share your results with anybody."

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on April 26, 2011
at 04:53 PM

If you changed jobs or lost your job and had to get health insurance on the private market, you wouldn't care if any insurance company or future employer could get your medical records? You know the old saying..."just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you."

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 26, 2011
at 04:48 PM

Honestly, I guess I just don't care if someone knows my bloodwork. All of our information is shared so many places, what's one more? I don't think they are running around going "OMG! Look at Melissa's cholesterol!" They are just covering their asses.

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2 Answers

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Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 26, 2011
at 04:54 PM

I would suggest that if you have concerns about this to give them a call or shoot them off an email asking them to explain it to you. Make sure you are happy with and fully understand their answer. It is in their best interest to give you as much information as you request. I find that labs (I haven't dealt with DirectLabs) are very quick to respond and they will respond at great depth and detail if you ask them to.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 26, 2011
at 04:59 PM

That sucks - I would recommend not using them until you are fully satisfied with the answer that you get. Have you tried other labs - or do they all have similar policies?

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on April 26, 2011
at 04:56 PM

I called and talked with 3 different people - none of whom had ever read their HIPPA policy, or could even find it on their own web site. They had no idea what it means, and answered instead with vague reassurances such as, "oh, we would never share your results with anybody."

0
4a7929c2aa05bf11349d9e55cb542d47

on April 26, 2011
at 07:19 PM

Can you order the test under an alias?

4a7929c2aa05bf11349d9e55cb542d47

(646)

on April 27, 2011
at 09:11 PM

You could try contacting direct labs and claim you don't have a drivers license. Or you could just "accidentally" typo the number. They may only store the number and do no actual verification against the ID. Direct Labs probably wants to do business with you either way, but this record keeping policy is a minor hurdle... you might find a way around it if you try hard enough.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on April 26, 2011
at 08:37 PM

Yeah, I thought of that, too, but I'd have to have a fake driver's license - they ask for it. If only I knew some under-age teenagers who could tell me where to get a fake I.D.!

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