Worried about low participation rates in company-sponsored health-risk assessments? Employees’ lack of knowledge about their medical privacy rights could be to blame.
Here’s a startling figure: Almost one-third of employees claim they’ve never received any education about privacy rights from their doctor or even their employer, according to info on privacyexchange.org.
Twenty-three percent also claimed they’d never even received written policy notices — the notices that doctors are required to distribute to their patients.
Specifically, there are four types of employee groups who are most likely to require education about medical privacy rights, including:
- Lower earners. Employees making less than $20,000 were 57% more likely to lack basic privacy-rights awareness than higher paid co-workers.
- Minorities. Fifty percent of Hispanic and 44% of African-American employees said they’d never had health-info privacy right explained by either a doctor or a benefits manager.
- Gen. Y. Only 48% of workers ages 18 to 25 knew of HIPAA’s privacy rights.
- Less-educated. 41% of employees with a high school degree or less were more likely to need privacy rights education, as opposed to just 23% of college-educated employees.
A little education can go a long way with these employees. For example, around 83% of African American participants with privacy-rights knowledge felt confident that their private medical info was kept strictly confidential.
When employees feel confident about their private medical info is safe, they are much more likely to participate in initiatives like health-risk assessments.