Health Insurance :: Health insurer’s disclosure of patient details criticised

One Australian health insurance company HCF has disclosed its insurer’s details to a third party health care company – McKesson Asia Pacific.

HCF has handed over to McKesson Asia Pacific the contact details, gender, age, the broad type of mental illness, and the recent number of hospital admissions for 370 people without their consent. This type of practice raises serious ethical issues about the role of health insurance companies. The New South Wales Health Minister says he is concerned the insurer HCF might be breaking privacy laws by giving the private details of its members to a third party health care company.

McKesson Asia Pacific recently won the tender to run the Federal Government’s “pregnancy support line”, and provides other telephone-based health services in Australia and New Zealand.

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