A big part of motivating people to seek treatment for their addiction is offering them very high levels of privacy and confidentiality. For a majority of addiction sufferers, there’s a lot of shame that goes with addiction. It’s not something the average person will go out of their way to let others know about. When it comes time for an addiction sufferer to start the search for a rehab in the Pennsylvania area, the privacy afforded them by the prospective rehabs will likely play at least a small role in the selection process.
We have to remember that at all times, the client has to be comfortable with the addiction treatment process. Their privacy and anonymity could well be part of keeping them comfortable. Of course, the rehab facility will need to know some personal information about the client but sharing that information beyond admission is need-to-know only proposition. In the sections below, we will go into more depth about the information rehabs are required to gather. Specific to the discussion will be addressing the title question, “Do I need a social security number to attend rehabilitation centers in Pennsylvania?”
Providing Social Security Numbers to Enter Rehab
The thought of having to provide confidential information in order to receive addiction treatment could serve as a deterrent for someone who needs help but maybe doesn’t have a social security card or number. In our facility in Pennsylvania, we do everything in our power to not put obstacles in a prospective client’s way. The truth is there are no legal reasons why we have to ask for a social security number. If we need proof of identity, we can ask for a drivers license or state ID.
Remember, either of these two forms of identification can come from other states. However, the information is still useful in helping up identify the person with which we are dealing. The fact there are laws in Pennsylvania that restrict the way service providers can handle and use social security numbers is no small thing for us to consider. We would be in direct violation of the law if we in any way were to publicly share another person’s social security. That would include using the number on an ID badge. For us and other rehabs in Pennsylvania, the handling of a client’s information is very sensitive. As a medical services provider, we do have the right to request said information. We can legally deny services to anyone who is unwilling to provide the information we request.
If someone does so, it’s at our discretion that we can decide whether to provide services or not. In all likelihood, we would be willing to do so if the client were able to address our concerns in other ways. With all of that said, there are circumstances under which we might want to request a client’s social security number upon admission. Remember, we do have a responsibility to protect other clients and the integrity of our rehab facility. Surely, most addiction treatment centers in Pennsylvania are going to feel the same way. Here’s the three instances where it’s reasonable for us to request a incoming client’s social security number:
- In-Lieu of other forms of ID
- To verify healthcare insurance
- A part of a credit check
In-Lieu of Other Forms of ID
The presumption everyone in Pennsylvania has a drivers license or any other form of ID is flawed. The fact is not everyone drives or even votes, leaving them with no need for government ID. Some rehabs might request a social security card in-lieu of other forms of ID. It’s not required but could prove helpful for the rehab.
Healthcare Insurance Verification
Often times, the healthcare insurance industry will track customers via their social security number. The number is sometimes necessary to legally secure medical records from other rehabs and hospitals. As an alternative, the client’s insurance identification might suffice in helping secure any needed information.
There are instances when a rehab might be willing to offer in-house financing to help the client cover the cost of rehab. Like any other creditor, the rehab facility has a right to run a credit check before getting involved with the client in a lending/borrowing relationship. As you contemplate getting treatment for your addiction, we understand your concerns about privacy. If giving your social security number would serve as a deterrent to you getting help, you should call us at 888-380-0342. There’s reason to believe we can work around your concerns and get you into treatment.