An internet television program that explores the intersection of medicine and the law.

The Right Response to a Records Request

By Richard J. Rymond to EMR/EHR

Description

The Right Response to a Records Request

Join us on Healthcare Matters for Part I of our series, Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know. In Part I, we sit down with attorney Richard J. Rymond of Reminger Co., LPA to discuss what physicians should and shouldn’t do when receiving a records request from a patient. Mr. Rymond’s practice focuses on medical and dental malpractice, and other forms of professional, commercial and general liability. He is the Dental Liability Practice Co-Chair at Reminger, as well as an assistant professor at the Case School of Dental Medicine and a frequent speaker on risk management programs for physicians, dentists and allied health professionals.

To see the full interview from the beginning, click here. Or, use the links below to watch each portion separately.

  1. The Right Response to a Records Request
  2. How to Respond to a Records Request from a Third Party
  3. Original Records or Copies: What to Provide
  4. Should You Review Records before Providing Them?
  5. Consulting with Colleagues on a Records Request
  6. Records Requests from Patients Who Owe for Services
  7. Paper Records versus Electronic Health Records
  8. The Number One Takeaway for Physicians on Records Requests
  9. Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know

Transcript

Mike Matray: Today we’re going to discuss how to respond when facing a medical liability claim and you receive a records request. Could you walk us through how to initially respond when facing a records request?

Richard Rymond: So most importantly when a physician receives a request for records, the physician needs to respond to that request. Typically the request will be for a complete copy of the chart, and that’s what should be provided.

Mike Matray: Now, when facing a records request, is there anything specific a healthcare provider should not do?

Richard Rymond: Well, the most important bit of advice that we can give is don’t panic. There may be a temptation for the physician to review the chart to make sure it’s complete, that everything that ought to be in the chart is in the chart and the physician might be reviewing the chart decide, “Gee, I should’ve added this,” or “I should have added that,” or “This shouldn’t be in there,” or “That shouldn’t be in there.” Any change that the physician makes to the chart before producing it, may expose the physician to a claim for spoliation of evidence that can give rise to a claim for punitive damages. It can also jeopardize insurance coverage in some circumstances. So the physician should promptly, courteously, professionally respond to the request and produce exactly what is requested.

Mike Matray: Okay, that’s one thing that a physician shouldn’t do. Are there any other specific things that a healthcare provider should not do when faced with a records request?

Richard Rymond: Sure. The healthcare provider should not ignore the request. A prompt response, courteous response and a complete response is in order. If the physician ignores the request or if his response is perceived as being too slow, that could give rise to a higher index of suspicion concerning the underlying care. If the physician ignores the request or if his response is perceived as being too slow, that could give rise to a higher index of suspicion concerning the underlying care.