When you seek compensation in a personal injury case, your medical records play a key role as the primary evidence to back your claim. The information in your medical records proves your injuries and outlines the treatment required. This means knowing how to get your medical records from your doctor is necessary in any personal injury case.
How does HIPAA protect my privacy?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, better known as HIPAA, ensures your private medical information remains private. It limits access to your medical records to only your healthcare providers and other parties that you give permission. It also gives you the right to see these records, and obtain copies when necessary.
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How do I request my medical records?
Obtaining a copy of your medical records is an easy process. Almost every doctor’s office and hospital keeps special forms on hand for these requests. Submit the form or a letter requesting your medical records; this must be in writing whenever possible.
Because of the importance of these records to your case, ensure you file a request with all of your care providers. Any overlooked records may limit your claim, and the compensation you receive.
Can they charge me for my records?
Ohio law allows the healthcare provider to charge you for copies of your medical records, and for the cost of postage to mail them if necessary. There are, however, fee limits set by law and based on the size of your file. For the first 10 pages, your doctor can charge $1.11 a page, 57 cents a page for pages 11 through 50, and 23 cents for pages 51 or above, according to O.R.C. § 3701.741.
Do I have to give the insurance company access to my medical records?
In the same way that your lawyer needs to view your medical records, the insurance company or legal team for the at-fault party in your accident will also analyze your medical records before offering a settlement. The law requires you to sign a HIPAA release for the other party to gain access to your records. Use caution when signing this type of release; the form should release only the records pertaining to your current injury and not your entire health history.
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Can HIPAA prevent me from receiving all of my medical records?
When you receive a copy of your medical records, it includes extensive details about your injuries and treatment. HIPAA, however, places limits on access to some aspects of your medical records, which may include:
- Personal notes made by the doctor
- Information the doctor believes may cause harm to you or others
Can an attorney gain access to my medical records?
Yes, your attorney can gain access to your medical records, but you will most likely have to fill out a release waiver giving him access. Personal injury attorney David Bressman can help you with any issues you are having obtaining your medical records.