With the doctor-patient confidentiality law in place, no one can pull your medical records for any purpose without your consent. Here are instances where your military boss may want to confirm or seek clarifications on specific medical conditions. This is an entirely different case.
Your medical records are your exclusive right; even your insurance company cannot access them unless you permit them.
So, Can the military pull civilian medical records?
Yes, the military can pull the medical records of a civilian only when the civilian gives consent. No military officer or organization can haul your history behind your back because it is against the law, and you may take legal actions against such. You will be notified if the military wants to pull your medical records.
Joining The Military And Importance Of Medical
Joining the military is undoubtedly an opportunity to serve your fatherland with pride; it is essential to pass through the vetting process. Medical checkups may be a significant part. Contrary to what many people think, enlisting is more than signing papers at your recruiter’s office.
It would be best if you had your physical and mental well-being evaluated. All these tests will also include; hearing and vision tests, obesity, and low physical fitness, among many others.
When Can The Military Pull Civilian Medical Records
In most cases, there are two occasions mostly responsible for the military pulling your civilian medical records, though, with your consent, these are; medical screening and failure to disclose your medical information.
Joining the military can be very hectic, especially for recruits. During this recruitment process, they may ask recruits to disclose full information that can make them uncomfortable in the discharge of their duties or make them ineligible for getting into the military.
Once a civilian is pursuing a military career, they will request them to talk to a recruiter about all necessary screening and likely include medical screening.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, most medical exams or screenings are delayed until a civilian is sent to a military entrance processing station- Only successful recruits reach this stage of questioning. The answers a civilian give at this processing station will determine whether there is a need to pull their medical records or not.
When you visit the military entrance processing station, you will be evaluated medically to confirm that you can withstand military training and exercise rigors. In addition to physical medical examinations, may ask military recruits to complete some questionnaires. Any recruit that has medical issues can discuss such with the recruiter and not with military employers.
In most cases, the military can grant civilians waiver when they are no longer affected by a previous medical issue. A particular medical diagnosis can disqualify a civilian who is about to be recruited. While many recruits may want to hide information on the military’s chronic medical conditions, the military can check medical records when they suspect such coverup.
If a recruit lied during screening, especially the failure to disclose a serious medical condition, the personnel may be discharged for fraudulent enlistment. This procedure means that the recruit will be given an administrative discharge for fraudulent entry and will be issued a Re-enlistment Eligibility Code 4, which means they will never be able to re-enlist again.
A fraudulent recruit discharge can damage one’s reputation hence the need to avoid giving false medical records.
Failure to disclose information is another reason why the military can pull civilian medical records. According to paragraph 13a of the employment contract, which states the acceptance of your recruitment or enlistment into the military service is based on the information given in your application, the same enlistment will become void if the information provided is false.
Knowing that withholding information on your military recruitment form is criminal, such violations may be treated as a felony. This level of a felony is currently punishable with a fine of up to $10,000 or a 3year imprisonment or both. While a recruit may enlist in a military organization even with confidential information, they are often caught after a few years or months later.
Recruits that provide false or incomplete medical record information may also be prosecuted under Article 83 of military justice’s uniform code.
This law states that “Any individual who procures enlistment in the armed forces by knowingly providing false representation or deliberate concealment as to their eligibility shall be punished according to directives from a court-martial.”
The violation of Article 83 attracts a maximum punishment, including dishonorable discharge from service, reduction in rank, forfeiture of allowance or pay and related entitlements, and confinement with hard labor for up to 2 years.
The military may not have any course to pull a civilian’s military records if there are no prior medical problems or irregular medical test results that will help them detect a pre-existing medical condition. If a recruit has deliberately decided not to disclose a medical condition, the military has every power to discharge the recruit for any fraudulent enlistment.
The worse side of being dismissed for false medical information is that the recruit will be barred from future re-enlistment. The recruit will also be blocked from access to certain benefits.
What Is The Military Recruitment Exercise For Civilians?
Anyone interested in enlisting in any of the military units will have to go through a local recruiter. You are also expected to visit the military website where you can find information about the minimum requirements to enlist in any of the military specialties, and you can also learn about enlistment bonuses pus the primary training you will undergo.
You can apply for any of the military enlistments if you are between 17 and 34 years old, and you can apply by simply submitting a paper application alongside certified copies of your academic records, birth certificate, social security number, and background checks information. You are required by law to be a citizen or permanent resident of the country to be eligible to apply for a military enlistment.
Once you have submitted your paper application; you will be asked to report at the Military Enlistment Processing Station (MEPS). You will be asked to take and pass the armed forces vocational aptitude battery or test that you must pass, to proceed. You will have to pass through a medical exam also.
What Kind Of Medical Screening Will A Civilian Have At Military Enlistment Police Station (MEPS)?
You will have to complete a detailed medical history questionnaire before completing a physical examination at the MEPS. The military also recommends that you get adequate information from your parents or guardians on childhood sicknesses, illnesses and diseases. Your medical exam at the MEPS will include height and weight measurements, urine tests, blood tests, and drug-related screening.
While taking your exam, you may be asked some additional questions on your medical history. In case the examiner still has concerns; your medical records may be pulled through.
Sometimes, you may be asked to ask for your medical records from your health care provider instead of the military pulling the records through. If you were receiving medical care as a dependent, such records attached to your care can also be pulled through.
To speed up the medical exam process, It is advisable to bring your medical records to the MEPS even when they have no requested for it. sometimes all you have to do is to request for release of health information from your physician to get your health records accessed. If your medical records no longer exist, your local health authorities may assist you in its retrieval.
For civilians, the military makes eligibility for enlistment a case-by-case basis. Examples of situations where an individual may be disqualified are; negative heart conditions, night blindness, asthma, anxiety disorder, cancer, vertigo, and certain personality disorders.
The military will not just dismiss anyone for medical history, they often consider how severe the medical conditions of the individual are and how they can possibly be accommodated. They will also consider whether mental or physical health issues occurred long ago or recently. You may be encouraged to enlist in the military at a later date when you fully recover from the health issue by surgery or any other treatment options.
In most cases, the military will approve waiver for medical conditions that will not affect the performances of the enlisted candidate. For waivers to be approved, the candidate’s condition will be monitored for a while.
There should be no need for a civilian looking to get enlisted in a military position to wait until medical records are pulled through. You should find means of submitting your medical records while you still applying for the position. Doing this will not only save time but also reduce the risks of any suspicion from the military recruiters.
As mentioned earlier, a $10,000 fine or 3-year imprisonment are the major fines for hiding information from medical records when enlisting in the military. Losing one’s entitlements, especially bonuses and tax waivers, can be more financially devastating for people who were already enlisted.
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