When You Tell Your Doctor You Smoke a Pipe...

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deckpiper

Junior Member
Apr 18, 2018
66
1
Just started pipe smoking. I've always said I don't smoke.
When I tell my doctor, will it be reported to the government/my insurance provider? Will my insurance costs go up?
I'm in the United States.

 

bluegrassbrian

Preferred Member
Aug 27, 2016
2,299
2,026
36
Louisville
The particulars could vary by state..
For me in Kentucky, if a person smokes 2 or fewer (cigars or pipes) per week they are considered a non smoker for insurance purposes.

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,409
8
Can't wait to see the responses to this one!
I am sure it will be reported to your insurance company, since the entire medical industry is completely in thrall to insurance conglomerates at this point.
It probably will be reported to the government as well, since the cancer that is the medical insurance industry has recently metastasized to the halls of government. Now that American health care is well on the way to collectivization, anything that may cost the collective is now the concern of the collective. Medical privacy defeats the collective, so it cannot be tolerated.

 

metalheadycigarguy

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2012
2,577
2
Washington State
No, and who knows. My doctor knows exactly how often I smoke my pipes and cigars, and while he doesn't agree with it he's allowing me to have this one vice. He just reminds me to not inhale. If it was cigarette smoking it might be different, but he understands the difference between the two. As for insurance going up well that's up to your insurance provider, but your doctor won't report that to them.

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,409
8
"As for insurance going up well that's up to your insurance provider, but your doctor won't report that to them."
The following quotes are from www.insurance.com:
"While state and federal privacy laws may require a doctor to keep records private, an insurance company can demand to review all necessary records before reimbursing the physician for services rendered."
"Even if you pay for your health care out of your own pocket, eschewing insurance altogether, your medical records could still end up in the hands of your insurer. That's because most doctors are part of health care networks that require access to all records, not just their own enrollees."
Just so we're clear, any tidbit of information your doctor, their PA, nurse, or medical assistant types into a computer is part of your medical record.

 

metalheadycigarguy

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2012
2,577
2
Washington State
Your doctor is not just going to provide random information to the insurance provider. HIPPA laws still protect you. If I go in for a physical then it gets reported to insurance as a physical. My doctor isn't going to give my insurance provider the list of 20+ questions that he asks while giving my physical. If I go in for an illness that's related to smoking then it would be listed and then provided. Doctors just don't give them any information without just cause.

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,409
8
I admire your optimism. HIPAA doesn't protect you much from information passing between your physician and your medical insurer, since they are both part of the framework of your medical care/treatment. HIPAA more comes into it's own as a bulwark against having your medical information sold to third parties.

 

metalheadycigarguy

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2012
2,577
2
Washington State
Well, I'm not sure how your doctor or your insurance provider works, but my doctor has known for years and I've never seen anything from my insurance provider inquiring about my smoking habits. Nor has my cost for insurance gone up. Again, unless you have a health condition that's directly related to smoking I wouldn't worry about telling your doctor about your smoking habits.

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,409
8
"she is required to ask."
Required by whom? That's one thing I don't get from my doctor.

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,870
512
OP ... the answer is yes. The medical record or EMR will report any and all tobacco as a positive and searchable by insurance databases.

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,870
512
npod, aren't you a doctor?
Yep. And also the head of IT for my group. So I’m familiar with the databases on an intimate level. The intake doesn’t determine cigarette vs cigar or moderate pipe smoking unfortunately. Any yesto tobacco in general is linked as “smoking” for insurance purposes.

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,409
8
I thought you were. I'm glad we've gotten some input from someone in the field. I know I am biased, due to my nearly irrational hatred of the medical insurance industry, but that is what leads me to try and stay abreast of what's going on in that world.

 
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