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Why To Have Your Clients Get Their Own Medical Records

Saving money for your clients by having them obtain their own medical records

Often times I will ask my clients to get me their medical records either from a hospital, clinic or radiology facility. While I do not like to inconvenience my clients, this practice can often save the client anywhere from twenty five dollars up to several hundreds of dollars in the long run. Medical providers are now charging ridiculous rates to copy and mail out their records. While they are regulated by the state as to how much they can legally charge, these fees are always much higher than anyone would expect to obtain their medical records.

 

My first line of defense when it comes to getting a client’s medical (usually hospital) records, is to ask a treating follow up physician to order the records for me. Doctors are able to obtain medical records for a patient with a signed HIPPA agreement by the patient free of charge. The doctor’s office requesting the records needs to stay on top of their request and often has to follow up several times before they receive the records. When this attempt breaks down, and the doctor’s office simply cannot get the records, as an attorney, I have two options. Option 1 is for me to just pay for the records myself. In this situation, I will front the cost to obtain the records and will recover that amount out of the proceeds of the settlement. Sometimes this amount is significant and other times it is not depending on how the case settles. Option 2 is to ask the client to go to the medical facility and request the records on their own. A patient is entitled to their records usually for free. While this can be seen as an inconvenience to some clients, it is always the least expensive way to get the records that I need to be able to process the client’s claim.

 

Waiting on medical records is probably the number one cause for delay in the handling of a personal injury claim. Depending on the situation and the anxiousness of the client to settle their claim, I make a case by case decision as to the best/most economical way to obtain the records. I would say that eight out of ten calls that I get from clients wanting to know why things are taking so long are answered by me telling them that I am waiting on medical records. As the attorney, I cannot send out a client’s records and bills to an insurance company until I have all of their records and bills in the file.

 

In this day and age, one would think that records could be emailed in a moment’s notice, but unfortunately that is not the case. Most hospitals don’t even handle this job themselves, rather they hire an outside copy service to manage these requests and to collect the money from attorneys requesting records. In conclusion, if you ever call your attorney and he or she tells you that they are waiting on records to continue processing your claim, just know that most likely they are telling you the truth!!
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Law Office of Ryan M. Rosenthal
Formerly:
The Law Offices of Richard S. Sennett.
Practicing Law For Over 60 Years

Ryan M. Rosenthal - Partner
Main Office:
500 Skokie Boulevard
Suite 150
Northbrook, Illinois 60062
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Downtown Chicago Loop
Chicago, Illinois

Telephone: 847.412.0333
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