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Old 28.07.2017, 11:48
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Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

If my spouse is under my health insurance, as in I'm paying for it and the main account holder, am I granted access to their medical records?
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Old 28.07.2017, 11:55
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

No.

And welcome to the forum .
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Old 28.07.2017, 12:00
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

In short, no. If you have a valid reason, you could start by asking your spouse. If your spouse needs you to retrieve them as they are unable to for some reason, then I'm guessing they would have to give you some sort of official permission to do so in their stead.
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Old 28.07.2017, 12:03
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

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If my spouse is under my health insurance, as in I'm paying for it and the main account holder, am I granted access to their medical records?
Each person has its very own health insurance policy. There is no such thing as "main account holder" in Switzerland.
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Old 28.07.2017, 12:05
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I remember emailing a hospital here with an inquiry for my wife and they asked me to send them her medical scans, etc. and I was surprised that they were allowing for that information to be given by ME instead of HER and through email. So, my impression was that privacy laws here are not very good.

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Each person has its very own health insurance policy. There is no such thing as "main account holder" in Switzerland.
The bills are addressed to me and her name appears on the same bill as mine. She doesn't get her own bill. On our online health insurance account, it's my name that's bolded, assuming this means I'm the main account holder.

I mean, when you're a parent, don't you have access to your children's records? Isn't it the same for marriages?

Last edited by 3Wishes; 29.07.2017 at 23:04. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 28.07.2017, 12:19
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

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I remember emailing a hospital here with an inquiry for my wife and they asked me to send them her medical scans, etc. and I was surprised that they were allowing for that information to be given by ME instead of HER and through email. So, my impression was that privacy laws here are not very good.
This is a bit different, then you requesting information. To send them the records you would first get hold of them, which means your spouse gave it to you in the first place.

In general doctors and other health care professionals may not provide medical information about the spouses unless there is good reason that it might be in the best interest of the patient.
http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/wirtscha...story/24857221

Also and in any case, if the patient gave full consent about the release of the information then anything goes.

But email Some people (I am not talking about you ) have nerves.
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Old 28.07.2017, 12:21
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

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I mean, when you're a parent, don't you have access to your children's records? Isn't it the same for marriages?
what an incredible comment?!? Your children are minors - your wife is not! Neither is she your possession- why on earth would you want to access her records without discussing it with her and have her consent ?

Last edited by Odile; 28.07.2017 at 14:33.
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Old 28.07.2017, 12:23
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

I was told HIPAA covers spouses, and that since we're married I do actually have access to my wife's health records
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Old 28.07.2017, 12:26
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

Who told you so? No-one in a civilised country should have access to someone's records without their consent (unless a child who is a minor- and even then- you may not have absolute right once their are 15/16, if the doctor believes it is not in the child's interest.).
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Old 28.07.2017, 12:38
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

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If my spouse is under my health insurance, as in I'm paying for it and the main account holder, am I granted access to their medical records?
Control freak !
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Old 28.07.2017, 12:38
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

While it is true that medical privacy is to be expected in Switzerland, as always there are outliers. Some medical practices, perhaps more likely those in a small village, seem to be a bit more... casual, shall we say.

Some years ago OH and I went to the same GP. One day at the end of my consultation the GP said "By the way, I have your husband's test results here, take a look, then you can give him the results."

I was shocked that the GP would so casually breach patient confidentiality - and again shocked that the GP did not understand my concerns. He thought that because we were married there was no probem sharing one spouse's medical information with the other.

And no, the GP is not a product of the older generation, he is under 40.

(He is no longer my GP, for obvious reasons.)
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Old 28.07.2017, 12:44
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

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I was told HIPAA covers spouses, and that since we're married I do actually have access to my wife's health records
HIPAA is U.S. legistlation.
Why would you assume that has any relevance in Switzerland?
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Old 28.07.2017, 12:44
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

Switzerland is not in the USA.
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Old 28.07.2017, 12:44
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

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While it is true that medical privacy is to be expected in Switzerland, as always there are outliers. Some medical practices, perhaps more likely those in small village, seem to be a bit more... casual, shall we say.

Some years ago OH and I went to the same GP. One day at the end of my consultation the GP said "By the way, I have your husband's test results here, take a look, then you can give him the results."

I was shocked that the GP would so casually breach patient confidentiality - and again shocked that the GP did not understand my concerns. He thought that because we were married there was no probem sharing one spouse's medical information with the other.

And no, the GP is not a product of the older generation, he is under 40.

(He is no longer my GP, for obvious reasons.)
Obviously they were ok or i don't think the doctor would have shared them. They were probably only thinking it would be helpful not to call in your husband just to tell him all was ok.

I do agree it's funny, but in small communities there is a lot more sharing that goes on.

I guess also there is a cultural difference over here as oposed to the US, more casual here than in the US
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Old 28.07.2017, 12:50
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

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Obviously they were ok or i don't think the doctor would have shared them. They were probably only thinking it would be helpful not to call in your husband just to tell him all was ok.

I do agree it's funny, but in small communities there is a lot more sharing that goes on.

I guess also there is a cultural difference over here as oposed to the US, more casual here than in the US
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Old 28.07.2017, 12:59
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

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Obviously they were ok or i don't think the doctor would have shared them. They were probably only thinking it would be helpful not to call in your husband just to tell him all was ok.

I do agree it's funny, but in small communities there is a lot more sharing that goes on.

I guess also there is a cultural difference over here as oposed to the US, more casual here than in the US
Actually they were not, and I had no idea that my husband had consulted the doctor. Being 'helpful' was not the GP's call, he had a duty to his patient to respect privacy - and a duty to communicate with the patient directly, to explain the results, discuss treatment, etc. Think about the implications...

It's not just a cultural difference but rather a serious breach of Swiss medical ethics. Possible even Swiss law, I'll leave that to those who know the law better than I do.

But in a small village chronically medically underserved, there is nothing to be done other than look for healthcare elsewhere. General opinion seems to be that a very bad doctor is better than no doctor.

It shouldn't be this way. Medical information should not be shared without one's explicit consent - not with a spouse, not with the neighborhood gossips.

But nail-head-hit: In a small village one must assume that everyone will know your business.

I'd be careful, though, of assuming good intentions. Even in Switzerland.
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Old 28.07.2017, 13:00
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

I assumed the laws here aren't that different from HIPAA. It's actually quite interesting if you read more about HIPAA (just google it) — healthcare providers can in fact disclose personal health information to spouses unless the spouse objects to it beforehand. I also think it's a bit odd, but it's actually legal.
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Old 28.07.2017, 13:08
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

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I assumed the laws here aren't that different from HIPAA. It's actually quite interesting if you read more about HIPAA (just google it) — healthcare providers can in fact disclose personal health information to spouses unless the spouse objects to it beforehand. I also think it's a bit odd, but it's actually legal.
It isn't that interesting, since Switzerland isn't the United States.

But I think somebody may have mentioned that already.
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Old 28.07.2017, 13:10
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

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It isn't that interesting, since Switzerland isn't the United States.

But I think somebody may have mentioned that already.
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Old 28.07.2017, 13:13
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Re: Does your spouse have a right to view your health records?

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I assumed the laws here aren't that different from HIPAA. It's actually quite interesting if you read more about HIPAA (just google it) — healthcare providers can in fact disclose personal health information to spouses unless the spouse objects to it beforehand. I also think it's a bit odd, but it's actually legal.
The US healthcare system has no relevance in any discussion on a Swiss centric forum

It's unique and very different when compared any other first world health care system.
OK, I mean "weird A.F" not "different".

Ergo, HIPAA has no relevance anywhere in Europe.
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