General Question

Jeruba's avatar

Why did the hospital ask what state I was born in?

Asked by Jeruba (49546points) March 19th, 2010

I just registered for a bone scan for a suspected stress fracture. I’ve registered for lots of little procedures like this in the past, tests, surgeries, etc., and never been asked this question before.

If you’re in the medical or provider business, do you know the reason? Questions about residence, citizenship status, date of birth, etc., all make sense, but state of birth? I don’t get it.

I don’t mind guesses, but if you’re just guessing, please say so. In these days of identity fraud, healthcare reform, and airport body scans, I’d like to know the actual reason.

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10 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

A guess: proxy question for citizenship.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I’ve worked in the medical field for a while now, and usually it’s because they didn’t create the form from scratch. They got it from someone else (who got it from someone else) who needed to know (like a pediatric office, because they handle newborns and need to get the records of the birth) and then just added on any questions the form didn’t have that they needed. And a lot of questions are on there because they’re standard, so even though no one has any idea why you would need the answer, they figure that everyone else must see the brilliance in it, and if they don’t ask, somewhere down the road they’ll be fucked.

It’s not a conspiracy… just laziness and incompetence…

Jeruba's avatar

@papayalily, not sure why you threw in the remark about conspiracies. I don’t think I suggested that. It didn’t even enter my mind.

You could be right, but—I’ve had a CT scan at this same radiology lab at this same hospital, and they didn’t ask that. This suggested that there’s been some change that called for this new information. I was wondering if it correlated to some change in the social-economic-political sphere and was wondering what the relationship could be.

@wundayatta, that was my first guess, too—but I have answered citizenship questions before, just never birthplace. I wondered if it were perhaps intended to increase the likelihood of uniqueness of the record.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Jeruba I mentioned conspiracies because you mentioned healthcare reform and body scanners.

Jeruba's avatar

You think those are conspiracies?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Jeruba No. I was just trying to say that it isn’t an evil plot to get you, just mediocrity.

Jeruba's avatar

I did not think there was anything about evil plots, @papayalily. How silly you must think I am. I was alluding to all sorts of new regulations that worried people have inflicted on us. When fresh invasions of privacy, questions of background, heightened security measures, etc., crop up, I can usually make some at least hypothetical connection between the change of action and a logical reason, however tenuous. In this case I couldn’t and was looking for some knowledgeable help.

(I do not mean to say that healthcare reform is an invasion of privacy, etc., only that it’s one of the things alarmists are going off about, and that there could be some sort of tie-in to medical and insurance routines.)

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Jeruba See I didn’t read it that way since HCR hasn’t actually passed yet… and because identity theft is a crime not a regulation.

Jeruba's avatar

Agreed, those are not three things of a kind, nor are they necessarily parallel. I used them to characterize what I think is a rather odd period of history in which things have become very convoluted and laden with suspicion. I was wondering what kind of fear or suspicion could be allayed by my revealing the state of my birth. You could ignore the last paragraph of my detail section entirely and my question would be unchanged.

mattbrowne's avatar

Unique identification without having to resort to numbers. There are fewer Jerubas in one state than in 50 states. There are ever fewer Jerubas in your place of birth. Born the same year. Born the same day. Born the same afternoon. And so on.

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