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Where Will All the Faxes Go?

Three birds, one stone: efax has been unreliable with my Chrome browser; I receive unwanted faxes; and Doximity now offers a free fax service for doctors. When I let go of my old fax number with efax, who will get the number, and will the likes of Safeway, Costco, Group Health and other pharmacies send refill requests with protected health information to the new owner of my number, possibly violating HIPAA regulations?

I have notified the pharmacy chains repeatedly that I do not want them to send refill requests and other communications to me via fax. I have asked them to remove the number from their database. I have even informed them that they have sent protected health information to an Internet publisher! They just do not get it. The faxes keep coming.

I have no way of knowing who else has the old fax number. Most senders will likely assume the number still belongs to me.

I know most such faxes include a statement to address the problem of wrong numbers, but would it not be better for the senders to simply comply with my demands that they stop? Do we need yet another regulation? Who will be held responsible when medical information ends up in the wrong hands?

One lesson from this is that we should all confirm fax numbers before sending medical information.

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