Asking for both birthdate and age

Why do forms (esp. medical forms in my experience) ask for both my birth date and my age?

It’s a shortcut so they don’t have to do the math?
They don’t want to miscalculate the ages of people born in leap years?
They want to find out if I’m aware enough to realize my birthday hasn’t happened yet this year?
They want to determine if I lie on medical forms?

Any ideas?

For some reason this annoys me.

They don’t want to do the math.

The birthdate is for records and insurance. The age is medical reasons, or something like that. (Not sure what those would be–the doctor can certainly tell the difference between a 20-year old, and a 50-year old.)

I don’t recall asking that on a form, but I’ve gotten asked that alot in bars/nightclubs/liquor stores/etc. I just assumed it was to trip up people who might be using a fake ID or borrowing somebody else’s.

On the surface that would seem even more stupid and lazy, but I guess they’re trying to trip up the morons who don’t bother to learn the birth date on their fake ID.

Listing the just the birthdate won’t tell your age at the time the form was filled out. If the form is kept for records you can look back a few years later and not have to cross-reference the birthdate and the date the form was signed to figure out you were 52 when you had that colonoscopy, or whatever.

Ah, that makes more sense, but my assumption is that all of this is going into a computer at some point, which could do that all automatically. Maybe I’m assuming too much that doctors are not still wedded to paper files.

That’s what I always thought. A trap to catch impostors.

Yeah, but then somebody has to program the computer to do that automatically. Plus, I wouldn’t assume that forms I’m filling out at the doctor’s office are going into a computer system–lots of that information is more likely to go into my paper file, where no one will ever look at it.

Redundant forms drive me nuts. The age/birthdate thing I hadn’t noticed, but now I will. :frowning: I hate the offices that make you list all your insurance information, when they copy your insurance card, so they already have all of that information.

It’s amazing how UN-computerized so many doctor’s offices still are.

I’m not sure why they ask age if they have the birth date, but the birth date is used at my doctors office as a quick check of a patient’s ID.

In my area there are three or four people who share my name. One is pretty close to my age. At the doctor’s office, I’m asked my date of birth every time I go so they know they have the right guy’s chart.

I work for an insurance company.

Sometimes insurance claims can be filed weeks, months, or years after the original injury occurred or after medical treatment was sought (in the case of lawsuits, years are not uncommon). In which case it is handy to know the age at the time of injury, which does not necessarily coincide with the claimant’s current age. A computer can technically compute this, of course. But I also know that when we’re taking different types of claims we ask for different kinds of information. If you slip and fall at a business as a customer, and they file a general liability claim about what happened, we would ask for your age. If you slip and fall at work on the clock, we would ask for your date of birth (and the system visually calculates the age of employee on the date of injury). I’m not 100% sure why the difference exists, but there you go.

Although I have encountered forms that ask for (1) your age, (2) your birth date, and (3) today’s date.

I guess they’re allowing for the possibility you’re an interstellar astronaut, traveling at relativistic speeds much of the time.