What information do you have to disclose to a hospital?

A week ago I went ot he emergency room at my local hospital. I, eh, had some cotton swab get stuck in my ear (or so I thought). Anyway, after the customary 2 hours wait they take me into the actual emergency room where I wait some more.

while I was waiting the second time around a lady came to me and started asking (non health related) questions. My name of course, my social security, my mother’s maiden name, my religion, my address and she kept on going. I was taken a back. Why does she need to know all of this?

The questions stopped as soon as I produced my insurance card. Was that the reason why there so many questions? So that she had as much info on me in case they had to bill me (or I refused to pay)? Is this standard practice? Could I have said “I don’t want to answer that particular question)” to any of those questions and still have been treated?

BTW, it turns out the cotton swab had fallen out right before we went to the hospital and I just never noticed. I was convinced it was on my ear drum making me deaf.

I cannot imagine why your mother’s maiden name would be of any use except as is sometimes done as an attempt at identity confirmation. As far as religion, I have declined to provide that information when asked.

IMHO one has nothing to lose by saying “I prefer not to answer that.” You can certainly as why they are asking.

Anecdote: Many years ago I was being admitted to a hospital that asked my religion. I told them I preferred not to answer, and that I would not be seeking any religious assitance, please, just the medical. I was pressed for this by the admitting clerk. Not wanting to make any more of a big deal over it or to give the clerk (who was just following procedures required of her), I said I was a Humanist, which completely satisfied them. I looked at the ID tag they put on my arm and saw that they could not fit the entire word there, and it just said, “Human,” which was fine with me! No dog blood, please, strictly human.

WRT identity confirmation, is it possible they ask a question like that so they can ask you again later, to see if you give the same answer? Both to see if you are who they think you are, so they don’t give you the wrong medicine, and to check that you’re not in an altered mental state?

But wouldn’t a nurse/doctor do that? This was definitely an administrator of some sort.

The nurse would ask you later, but maybe they’d ask when you first came in, especially if you were alone, to get an initial answer. I’m just speculating here. If they truly did ask for your mother’s maiden name for some stupid red-tape reason, that’s just ridiculous. I’m trying to find a legitimate reason, and I guess, “Well, she told me when she came in she was born in Chicago, but now she says Regulon XII. I’d say she’s out of it.”

Name, social, and mother’s maiden has credit check written all over it to my ears.

Or “potential assignment to collector down the road.”

I was very sick earlier this year with a persistent infection and fever. This same woman, claiming to be a nurse (they must clone her) showed up in my ER room and started asking me a bunch of nosy questions. I said in my feverish state: “That’s none of your business, please leave.” The look on her face was absolutely priceless, eyes wide, mouth agape. She proceeded to explain that my previous information didn’t make sense and I responded: “I’ve asked you to leave, please leave.” She did. She was fishing for financial information on my relatives. 102.7 and at the start of an 8 day hospital stay. I’m still proud of me.

That would be my guess as well.

Sounds like they’re looking for “Who do we bill in case the patient kicks-it,” information.

Clergy usually do rounds at hospitals and are provided with of list of patients of their denomination (and have agreed to listed).

Yes, I know that. Point was, I did not want to be visited by ANY clergy. And I know from prior experience that if you put down “none,” or “atheist,” you may get at one, maybe more, come in and try to convert you. Then you have to go to the trouble of asking him or her to leave. If you put down a bogus or way-out “religion,” your chances of one of those showing up is pretty slim. As I said, “Humanist” worked well. I’ve considered “Druid” as well.

Mother’s maiden name is dangerous, now this lady has information to use to get into your credit report.

I’ve been looking for work for awhile and already I’ve traced TWO hotels, I applied to with the H/R clerk trying to open credit using my SS#. I stopped putting that on applications. What they do is they call you’re references (don’t put that info either, unless you’re specifically asked) and since usually they ask for a personal reference and your friends know you need work, the friends goes overboard in providing information

They ask as much informaton as they can, so yes, they can bill you. It’s quite common for uninsured people to arrive at the ER with no ID, no wallet nothing.

If you gave her the maiden name at very least, put a notice on your credit report notifying you of new accounts and such.

Not Jedi? I’m disappointed.

There are a couple of potential uses for the religious preference. I’ve had patients that were having mental/emotional/spiritual difficulty related to their medical situation. I can offer to refer them to a mental health professional or if they have a religious preference listed I can ask if they would find it helpful to talk with a spiritual advisor. Also religion can directly impact medical care. If you’re listed as Jehovah’s Witness and need a surgical procedure I’m going to ask fairly detailed questions about what kind of blood derived products are acceptable to you.

Very true. I was raised Catholic (though I’m no longer practicing) and for whatever reason, listed that as my religion when I was hospitalized for each childbirth.

Evidently the “what religion” question triggers a monitoring system set up in the patient bathrooms… as with both deliveries, in two separate hospitals, I had people knocking on my door while I was in the shower, asking if I’d like to receive Communion. :eek:

Next time, I’m saying ‘Pastafarian’. Spaghetti and meatballs may not go any better with shampoo and soap than a Communion wafer, but could hardly go worse! (I assume - I declined both times)

Could the mother’s maiden name question identify someone who was using someone else’s insurance card?

I write hospital admissions software.
We ask mother’s maiden name as a tiebreaker. To distinguish the 20 or 30 “Peters, John James” or “Rodrigues, Ramon J” from each other. This is rather important, so that they don’t receive each other’s medical care.
SSN is because most of the insurance companies require it on the bills.

Edit: no one can force you to answer either of those, but you might want to answer MMN just for patient safety reasons. Some systems still use SSN as a tiebreaker, but that is discouraged due to patient privacy concerns.