In lawsuits, it is important to make sure that you have all your necessary medical records. Obtaining MRI films, X-Rays & Intraoperative Photos can prove what happened in your medical history. In personal injury cases, Mr. Stan Sanders explains, "after filing a legal claim, it is important to prove that an accident was caused by an accident and that there wasn't any preexisting medical conditions and in medical malpractice, your medical records are the most important element in your case."
You have a right to all of your medical records according to HIPAA which gives patients the right to obtain copies of their records from any provider. Sometimes, it may be difficult to obtain these records and it is imperative to have an investigator handle. Be prepared to have issues with records of elderly parents, children or even if you're considered the legal guardian of another adult. HIPAA states that medical providers must supply copies of all medical documentation within 30 days of your notice and if they do not, they must provide a legitimate reason for the delay. An investigator can be more persistent than a regular person and know exactly what to look for.
In addition to understanding the time frame and information, investigators will determine what documents are relevant in your file. They will work with the attorney(s) to keep costs low and look to obtain the records of other third-party professionals that are involved. According to Mr. Sanders, "records may not include all of the records that the third-party medical provider's office has on your name. You may need to make a separate request to the specialists office for your medical records and this is when investigators are more capable of under covering additional information that helps us in these cases."
There are times when medical records are missing and your investigator will be insistent to request the information. All inquiries must be done in writing. However, some hospitals and medical providers have been found to withhold important records relating to medical malpractice lawsuits. In such a case, your investigator will help and at this point, it is best to contact a personal injury lawyer like Mr. Sanders at The Sanders Firm.
For your convenience The Sanders Firm website is www.TheSandersFirm.com and their number is 1.800.FAIR.PLAY and All Investigative Services is 516.250.1192
A provider cannot deny you a copy of your records because you have not paid for the health services you have received. If you believe that your doctor or other health care provider violated your health information privacy right by not giving you access to your medical record, you may file a HIPAA Privacy Rule Complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights. The easiest way to file a complaint is to go through the HHS Office for Civil Rights. If you have questions about privacy, security, or HIPAA, visit the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) privacy website . You can also search OCR’s HIPAA FAQ database.
Lastly, for more information about your right to access your records, visit the HHS Office for Civil Rights.
Karin Murphy is an investigative reporter. Through her own experiences she took an interest in undercover & investigative work.