Sign in

Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Privacy

In Elemental. More on Medium.

Now is a good time to rethink who has access to your medical profile

Photo: Lianhao Qu/Unsplash

In an initial visit with a health care provider, new patients routinely sign a disclosure form — often without giving it much thought. This document allows for (among other things) doctors to share your medical records, including diagnosis and procedures performed, with your health insurance carrier for reimbursement.

Should you decide not to sign or disclose your health information, technically speaking, medical records cannot be shared with a third party, including your insurance carrier. At that point, any and all expenses incurred become your responsibility.

In 20 years of clinical practice, every patient I’ve treated — with health insurance —…


A new startup is catering to people who want more privacy—but that means giving up a chance to find relatives

A pipette adds a sample to petri dish with DNA profiles in background.
A pipette adds a sample to petri dish with DNA profiles in background.
Photo: Andrew Brookes/Cultura/Getty

Brianne Kirkpatrick interacts with plenty of people concerned about privacy. One time, when the licensed genetic counselor was helping a client look over potential relatives based on DNA matches in the ancestry website FamilyTree.com, she found one with an unusual name: “Not Saying.”

In mid-September, the startup Nebula Genomics announced it would be offering anonymous gene sequencing, which allows consumers to get their DNA tested without ever personally identifying themselves. The company is capitalizing on growing consumer distrust of genetic testing companies and fears that the information people obtain about their disease risk might be used against them. Consumers buying…

Elemental

Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store