Health funds are always in the business, of saving money – they are after all governed as an insurance company, and insurance companies do their best to save money and limit claims.
There’s a new push for health funds to not provide services for alternative health. The criteria for eliminating alternative health therapies is that the effectiveness of it has been placed under the criteria, of an “evidence-based structure”. In documentation received from health funds, they can have total access to your:
- Personal file
- Treatment given
- Outcomes reached
Is this an invasion of your privacy?
Although they say that they “take your privacy seriously”, (your file won’t be made “public”), It does not offer total protection as anyone behind the scenes could see that data, as we have seen time and time again, mistakes can happen, and although you will never know who may read your file and when, it is ultimately a matter of trust.
What many people don’t know, is that in Australia, when you join a health fund they can:
- Amend any of the rules any time they want.
- By joining the health fund you have automatically given them permission to look at your personal file, treatment given, outcomes reached, and any other aspect that they want to look at.
This then complies with the privacy act as you’ve already given permission for such a personal peek into your private life. They say the devils in the detail, i.e. The small print. That way, they the health funds can test “evidence-based structures”. To either eliminate a service or keep it.
The thought of an insurance Corporation, having access to your personal private health process, and the therapies you have undertaken, to me is rather frightening. (And in my personal opinion contravenes therapist client confidentiality). Once a corporation has that information, you do not know who looks at it, or how that information is handled, and if it will impact your employ-ability, which by the way, you will never know, especially if you see a therapist for myriad of personal issues you’d rather not have potentially in the wild.
Not only can information be hacked but possibly misused by government or employees or other bodies. In the world of big data, data is big business and where the lines are blurred between your privacy, governments, and corporations as such, information enters uncharted territory.
As for me personally, it is my personal ethical duty to have confidentiality with the client unless there is an overriding legal obligation to contact the right authorities under the law. And as such, will no longer provide health funds for clients.
Clients, who in the long run, will appreciate such privacy and confidentiality.