Medical records consist of important personal information regarding a person’s health, well-being, recent illnesses and injuries, medical procedures, medications prescribed, etc. Sometimes lawyers need their client’s medical information for insurance purposes, personal injury cases, and other such circumstances. Unfortunately, gaining access to medical records is easier said than done. The process can be lengthy, time-consuming, and frustrating. This is why many lawyers choose to hire third-party companies to carry out the retrieval process for them.
Right to collect records Patients can request their medical records at anytime and medical facilities are obligated to provide them within 30 days of the request. This was established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and it usually takes filling a request form and submitting it to the medical facility. Doctors and lawyers can request medical records on behalf of the patient with their consent or the consent of their medical proxy. Hospitals and medical facilities can charge a reasonable amount for the retrieval. Third party medical record retrieval companies Complex medical history is harder to collect and retrieve than plain medical records from a couple of professionals or institutions. If a person has received medical treatments for different kinds of illnesses from different hospitals, they need to contact every facility involved to get medical records. That’s where third-party record retrieval services come in. These companies know the best and most efficient way to retrieve records from multiple facilities. They use a streamlined process to get all the information quickly and thoroughly, which allows lawyers and patients to focus on other things that require their attention. For example, a lawyer can work on collecting other information related to the case while a retrieval company collects the medical records. Patients need to sign a release form that allows third-party retrieval companies to collect all information and compile them. The company will then make this information available through physical mail, a secured online platform, or fax based on the lawyer’s or patient’s preference. The retrieval process is compliant with the rules and guidelines laid down by the HIPAA so the information is in safe hands and won’t be misused by the parties retrieving it.
The records retrieval process Experienced and established record-retrieval companies use the most effective and streamlined process to ensure they collect all of the information needed quickly. Here’s a brief look at the process all of them follow: They accept the retrieval request form from a lawyer, patient, or insurance company and check whether it is filled properly. Once the request is processed, they contact every medical establishment and facility on the list and place request for information. They check in with the medical facility after 1 to 3 days to ensure the request has been processed. They keep checking until the request is approved and the documents are released. After they’re granted access, the medical record retrieval agents collect and compile all the information before double checking it to ensure there’s nothing missing.