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Release of Information Basics


Posted on December 19, 2014

Order Medical Records carefully controls the release of medical records to make sure that your privacy is completely protected.

Release of Information BasicsAt Order Medical Records (OMR), patient privacy is one of our main focuses. As a result, we make a diligent effort to abide by all relevant privacy and confidentiality standards, and make sure that all HIPAA guidelines are adhered to throughout the request, transfer, and delivery of your medical records. We understand how sensitive the information contained in your medical records is and we recognize how important these records are to your health. That is why over the past 20 years we have developed and refined a process to obtain patient medical records as quickly, efficiently, and securely as possible.

In order to use our service to retrieve medical records, you must fill out an official Release of Information Authorization Form. This form authorizes your physician, hospital, or other treatment provider to complete the release of medical records with us as your intermediary.

Who Can Sign My Authorization for Release of Information?

In most cases, each individual must fill out and sign their own Release of Information Authorization Form themselves. Some exceptions exist for certain individuals and these include:

  • Incapacitated individuals – The person who holds power of attorney may sign on behalf of a mentally or physically incapacitated patient.
  • Minors under the age of 12 – Parents or legal guardians may complete forms for minors under the age of 12.
  • Minors between the ages of 12 and 17 who are receiving psychiatric or substance abuse treatment – Parents or legal guardians may sign forms for release of medical records related to these treatments only.
  • Deceased patients – An executor or other estate representative may request records belonging to a deceased individual.

What Information Is Required for the Release of My Medical Records?

Once the authorization has been signed and received, we typically need the following information in order to complete the medical records request:

  • Patient name, date of birth, and ID number
  • Name and contact information for the doctor or provider who has the records
  • Time frame of records desired
  • Type of records requested (labs, notes, allergies, etc.)

Can My Information Ever Be Released Without My Authorization?

In certain situations your medical information can be released without your consent. There are four general scenarios in which release of information may occur without your specific consent:

Emergency Treatment

If you need emergency care, an ER doctor may need to request and view your medical records in order to make the best possible treatment decisions for you.

Insurance Payment

Before your insurance company pays out on a claim, they typically review your medical records to verify that the procedure was necessary. They will typically order the records without your knowledge.

Random Quality Control Checks

In order to receive accreditation, healthcare organizations must comply with audits and quality control checks from the accrediting organizations. Your records could possibly be included in a random sample of records used for this purpose.

Legal Subpoenas

If your physician or healthcare provider receives a subpoena for your medical records, they will release them in order to comply with the law.

How Can I Get Copies of My Medical Records Released to Me?

As we mentioned earlier, the first step that you must take when requesting medical records is to fill out an approved authorization. Once you have filled out the authorization with all of the necessary information, you are then responsible for getting that authorization and the request for records to the correct person or place. This can be very difficult to do as healthcare providers often have very large and unorganized back room operations. Determining who to send your request to should be a simple task, but oftentimes, it is not. Once you do determine who the request needs to go to and you send the request to them, you then have to follow up with the facility to make sure they got the request and to make payments.

This whole record requesting process can be very painstaking and time consuming, and many people choose not to deal with it at all. The best way to go about obtaining copies of your medical records is to utilize the services of the experts at Order Medical Records. Order Medical Records has been dealing with healthcare providers for over 20 years, and in this time period we have learned all of the tricks of the trade. We understand exactly how to go about the record retrieval process and our professionals are well trained on how to deal with release of information custodians. When using Order Medical Records, we guarantee that you will receive accurate copies of your medical records in a timely fashion. Avoid the stresses of the record requesting process and order your medical records today through OrderMedicalRecords.com.

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