Protecting Your Family’s Medical Information


Published:

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Health information is valuable. Now that medical records are being kept electronically, they can more easily be misappropriated. Health care providers and insurers have been hacked, creating worries about privacy as well financial vulnerability.

Medical companies that obtain access to health information may bombard you or your child with advertising for treatments that you don’t want or need. A thief who gets access to insurance information can ruin your credit and max out your benefits. Protecting your family from these problems requires vigilance. Get into the habit of following these rules:

Study statements. Check provider names, dates of service and the type of service provided. If you see a mistake, report the problem as soon as possible.

Check EOBs. An Explanation of Benefits from your insurance company usually says “This is not a bill” at the top. That’s not a reason to ignore it. Match EOB’s to statements from medical providers. If there are any discrepancies, contact your insurance company immediately. An inaccurate EOB may be your first indicator that someone else is using your insurance information.

Sign up for online accounts. Many doctors and pharmacies provide patients with password-protected access to personal medical files. Not only is this an easy way to check the accuracy of records, but it also keeps anyone else from setting up an account under your name.

Correct misinformation. Fraudulent medical claims can introduce inaccurate information into medical records. If you become aware of errors in your medical files, ask that they be corrected. Follow up with any other providers who may have received the information to be their sure records are accurate, too.

Set up personal health records. Having your own records makes it easier if you need to change health care providers. MyPHR.com has an extensive list of record-keeping apps and programs as well as paper forms that can be downloaded. Because genetic history is likely to become more important in your child’s lifetime, consider using the same file to record medical conditions of ancestors and other family members.

Keep records safe. Use a password to protect health records stored online. Store paper records in a safe place — a locked filing cabinet is ideal. Shred outdated health insurance forms, prescription receipts, physician statements and even labels from prescription bottles.

Guard your numbers. Treat your insurance card as carefully as your credit card. Avoid putting social security numbers on health information forms. Numbers for children are especially desirable to thieves because you may not detect a problem until the child applies for a driver’s license. If forms from medical providers or for that matter schools or sports teams ask for social security numbers, leave the space blank. Don’t share medical or insurance information on the phone unless you initiated the contact. Don’t provide it in response to an email.

Be smart online. Thanks to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, medical providers must take privacy seriously. Those rules don’t apply to social media, message boards or, for that matter, companies that sell wearable medical devices. Think carefully about sharing health information online.

If, despite all these precautions, you suspect someone has stolen the medical identity of a family member, act swiftly, following the steps outlined at identitytheft.gov/#what-to-do-right-away. You can also request an Accounting of Disclosures, a record that details when, what, who and why your medical information was shared by your provider.

Even if you don’t suspect medical fraud, you may want to request a disclosure report as well as a reports from the three major credit agencies (annualcreditreport.com). By law, you are entitled to a free copy of each of these reports each year, and you may sleep better at night if you know they’ve given your family a clean bill of health.

Carolyn Jabs raised three computer savvy kids including one with special needs. In 2016, she will publish “Cooperative Wisdom: Bringing People Together When Things Fall Apart.”

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June 2019

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
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Raleigh, NC  27603
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Crowder County Park
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Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

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Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Cost: Free

Where:
Carrboro Cybrary
100 N Greensboro St
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-918-7387
Contact Name: Cybrary
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Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
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Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online. Choose course #124963.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online. Choose course #124691.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Orange County Main Library
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Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Orange County Main Library
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Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

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Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
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Cost: Free

Where:
White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
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Sponsor: White Plains UMC
Telephone: 919-467-9394
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Cost: Free

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Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Website »

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Vacation Bible School includes dinner. Register at wpumc.com/vbs

Cost: Free

Where:
White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Sponsor: White Plains UMC
Telephone: 919-467-9394
Contact Name: Michele Vansteen
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Cost: $5

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Martha Kane
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Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Enjoy tea time for the whole family. Samples of hot tea, cold tea, and kombucha will be provided, along with games and family fun.

Cost: Free

Where:
IngenuiTea Kombucha Coffee & Tea
514 E Williams St
APEX, NC  27502
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Sponsor: IngenuiTea Brews
Telephone: 919-438-3684
Contact Name: Mark Poole
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Vacation Bible School includes dinner. Register at wpumc.com/vbs

Cost: Free

Where:
White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: White Plains UMC
Telephone: 919-467-9394
Contact Name: Michele Vansteen
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Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Cost: $9/resident, $11/nonresident

Where:
Bond Park Community Center
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
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Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Park
319 S. Academy St.
Cary, NC  27511
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Website »

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Cost: $5

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Marti Kane
Website »

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Parent and child ages 2-5 water plants in the native wildflower gardens. Register online. Choose course #124907.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Join Optimist Aquatic Center as thousands of kids and adults around the world unite for the world's largest swimming lesson. The World's Largest Swimming Lesson will celebrate its 10th...

Cost: Free

Where:
Optimist Aquatic Center
5902 Whittier Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

Vacation Bible School includes dinner. Register at wpumc.com/vbs

Cost: Free

Where:
White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: White Plains UMC
Telephone: 919-467-9394
Contact Name: Michele Vansteen
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Every year on June 21, we enjoy the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. Discover the science and cultural celebrations behind this special summer day. Make a pretty sun catcher to hang in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

What do Historic Yates Mill County Park and the woodland faeries have in common? They both love nature! Take a short walk near the millpond to search for evidence of faeries (sightings are not...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Enjoy magic, storytelling and origami with Yasu Ishida. Grades K-5.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Pine State Coffee
1614 Automotive Way
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Night Market
Website »

More information

Vacation Bible School includes dinner. Register at wpumc.com/vbs

Cost: Free

Where:
White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: White Plains UMC
Telephone: 919-467-9394
Contact Name: Michele Vansteen
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

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Show Less...

Every year on June 21, we enjoy the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. Discover the science and cultural celebrations behind this special summer day. Make a pretty sun catcher to hang in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: $12/person. Free for ages 2 and younger.

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Duke Homestead State Historic Site
2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
The Scrap Exchange
2050 Chapel Hill Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Want to get inside Historic Yates Mill? Join us for a half-hour tour (starting at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30 or 3 p.m.) to view the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the mill's history...

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Free/Child (6 - under)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
NC Cooperative Extension
721 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: March of Dimes/Duke Family Medicine
Telephone: 678-246-9027
Contact Name: Courtney Simpson
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Ages 5-8 embrace science and nature while developing skills and knowledge about the natural world. Register online. Choose course #124927.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

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Cost: $12 advance tickets, $15 at the door. Free for ages 12 and younger

Where:
Vollmer Farm
677 NC Hwy 98 East
Bunn, NC  27508
View map »


Sponsor: Vollmer Farm
Telephone: 919-496-3076
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
E. Carroll Joyner Park
701 Harris Rd.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

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