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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Getting Former MD's records...

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Author Topic: Getting Former MD's records...
Ocean
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Hi,

I've contacted some of the doctors I saw early on in my journey with Lyme. The first one I called said that they destroy records older than 7 years, so there was no hope for that one.

The second one said they have them in storage and put me in contact with the person who retrieves such things.

This woman said, "Well, those are in storage."

Me: "Yes I know, I was told that I could get them in about 2 weeks."

Woman: "Well, I don't know when I'll even make it over there and even what records will be there."

Long Pause...

Me: "OK, well should I sign a form now?"

woman: "no, wait and see what we find first, like I said I really don't know when I'll be over that way."


So..... it's been almost 2 weeks, should I call again and tell the office that I WANT my old records???

I am VERY interested in the old labs and doctor's notes. I know it doesn't matter that much now, but I want to know if the doctor said anything about a rash when I went in initially.

I really wanted them before my appointment with my new LLMD next week, but I'm sure that's not going to happen.

Thanks,

Ocean

--------------------
http://www.healingfromlymedisease.blogspot.com/

Sick since 1996...Diagnosed 10/2008

IgM:23-25 IND, 31+++, 39 IND, 41 +++
IgG: 31 IND, 41++, 58+

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sutherngrl
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You are legally entitled to your medical records. I would call and tell them you need them to take to another doctor and you need them within 3 days. Scare them, tell them you don't want to have to resort to legal means to get them.
Posts: 4035 | From Mississippi | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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-

I really doubt your old records will help much - unless there was a photo of the rash.

Also, be aware that sometimes you have to pay for copies.

You can also go in and see the entire file. Usually, when copies are sent it is just of the lab work.


-

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bettyg
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yes, i'd ask to SEE RECORDS! why pay for things that don't say a thing, etc.

are you/have you filed for SSDI, ss disablity insurance benefits? you can then state i need these for my SSDI CLAIM !!

yes, i've read online here a llmd who moved his office from 1 state to another was charging ONE DOLLAR PER PAGE TO COPY! so know what you are paying for!! good luck.

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Leelee
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Hi Ocean,

I hope you get your records. You are a valuable person and your records are part of your history.

Like you, I would be hesitant to call again, but then, I think "well, they belong to me and it's her job."

I asked for copies of my allergy report and they charged me $9 and took two weeks to do it.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck and let us know how things turn out.

--------------------
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King,Jr

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sutherngrl
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I once upon a time ask my rheumy for my records. They said it would be a dollar a page, so I paid it all with pennies! As much as I paid her to tell me that I would never get any better, it really p****d me off that I had to pay for what was legally mine. This is the only doctor that ever required me to pay for my records.
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Melodymaker
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Ocean, phone calls can easily be ignored since there is no record.

I'd phone and tell them there's a letter in the mail requesting to schedule a time to come and review your record.

The office manager should retrieve the record and have it there for you.

Also, is it legal in your state to destroy records after 7 years. I thought doctors were required to keep records in storage.

Perhaps they just don't want you reviewing your records because they are afraid of liablity?

--------------------
Wishing You Showers Of Blessings!
Lyme since Fall 1983 = Diagnosed Summer 2008
IV Rocephin 7 weeks Stopped due to drug fever
Now doxycycline
"For I know the plans I have for you...plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

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bettyg
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many of my former hospital records have been destroyed as well; they do have a criteria of how many years they keep them!
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kam
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My experience is that yes...legally they are to be provided to us.

But, how to enforce that is another issue.

I had doctor's loose my records...3 different doctor's.

I had someone else's paper work in my file with another doctor.

Posts: 15927 | From Became too sick to work or do household chores in 2001. | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
FuzzySlippers
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Ocean,

As long as seven years has not passed (medical records aren't required to be kept longer than that, I believe), it is against Federal law for that doctor's office not to give you copies.

They are required by Federal law to comply with your request within 30 days.

Here is a link to Your Medical Records Rights In Ohio, under HIPPA,

http://hpi.georgetown.edu/privacy/stateguides/oh/oh.pdf


Every State in the United States has a set of these HIPAA Rules.

To make them aware of the seriousness of your request, and the fact that they need to comply with Federal law under HIPAA, I'd mail this request in writing.

If you want to go to the trouble, you could even mail it Certified Mail, Return-Receipt Requested. This would require someone in the doctor's office to sign, showing that they did, indeed, receive this request from you. That way, you'll have proof that their office did receive your request.

If they do not comply and give you your records, you can file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (See, the link above for how to go about doing that).

The doctor's office might require you to fill out a form to release the information to you and they might charge you for the cost of making copies. But, other than that, they MUST comply with your request. It's as simple as that.

In your letter of request, you can also cite the
the Federal law. That way they'll know you mean business.

Writing something like, "In accordance with my rights under Federal law, (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) hereinafter referred to as "HIPAA," I am hereby requesting copies of all my medical records. Including, but not limited to, testing results, correspondence, doctors notes, yada yada yada

It my understanding that under HIPAA my request must be fulfilled in no later than 30 days.

Of course, I will be happy to pay any copying and postage charges associated with my request.


Hope this helps.

Fuzzy

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Ocean
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Thanks everyone for relpying, I really appreciate it!!

Yes, they said by law, they only have to keep records for 7 years.

And these records that I am looking for are from 1996-1997, when I first became sick.

So it looks like I have no legal right to them, so the lazy office person will probably not get them for me.

I was thinking though if I stopped in sometime and talked with them in person and made them know that they are an important part of my life, due to my sickness for so long, maybe they would try harder to get them.

I was kind of surprised the way she acted though. I personally try to do whatever I can to help someone, but I guess you'll have those kind of people too.

Take care,
Ocean

--------------------
http://www.healingfromlymedisease.blogspot.com/

Sick since 1996...Diagnosed 10/2008

IgM:23-25 IND, 31+++, 39 IND, 41 +++
IgG: 31 IND, 41++, 58+

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lostgurl
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I have NEVER heard of anyone destroying medical records as a norm..

They legally belong to you. If you request them, they - that day have to send for them wherever they are in storage..

Where I used to work, we didn't charge for someone to get their records nor did we question it as the patient is entitled to them..

I would get copies of everything for you may be enlightened, as most of us are when we see things that no one told us about..

Now this is in Louisiana, but I assumed that all states were required to do this-store them and keep them even after a patient expires.


they can't just say 'I don't know when I will get over there' I know they do, but that's no excuse.

they at one time- worked for YOU.. Talking to them , taking a little time- may help and make all the difference in the recovery time..

Two weeks is more than enough time..

of luck. You are right to want them as they are your 'story' ..

I need my med records to back track my illness and what happened 'when' and 'where'......

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kam
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Hopefully, you will get someone else when you show up in person and all will go smoothly.
Posts: 15927 | From Became too sick to work or do household chores in 2001. | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bettyg
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fuzzy, outstanding info on hippa's rules on getting medical records; added online to my newbie package info.

could you copy it also to treepatrol's info along with the link here? really great; thanks!

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