Tag Archives: patient records

Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know

Join us on Healthcare Matters for our latest episode, Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know, as we learn the ins and outs of responding to a records request from a patient or third party when facing a medical liability claim. We talk with experienced trial attorney Richard J. Rymond of Reminger Co., LPA about what to do (and what NOT to do) when receiving a records request. Some of the tips from Richard include the need to respond promptly and courteously to any records request, the importance of making sure records are complete (including reproducing color-coding) and the circumstances under which records can be released to a third party. Richard also addresses questions physicians might have, such as whether it is appropriate to consult with another healthcare provider about a patient’s records request, if it is ever ok to alter or add to a record before providing it and how to deal with records requests from patients who have not paid for services.

See our full discussion with Richard J. Rymond below to learn what you need to know to respond to a records request.


 

The Number One Takeaway for Physicians on Records Requests

In the final part of our series, Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know, we ask attorney Richard Rymond of Reminger Co., LPA for his most important takeaway regarding patient records requests. As Richard reiterates, the number one, most important thing that physicians and healthcare providers should do is make sure that they do not alter a patient’s records in any way before providing them. As Richard explains, altering records can expose healthcare providers to new claims that have nothing to do with the quality of care provided to the patient.

View Part VIII of our series below, or click here to see the entire interview.

Paper Records versus Electronic Health Records

In Part VII of our series, Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know, we talk with attorney Richard J. Rymond of Reminger Co., LPA about the difference between paper records and electronic health records. As Richard explains, though the medium is different, physicians and healthcare providers should treat both types of records the same. In either case, it is vital to make sure that the records provided to the patient are complete. For electronic health records, this may mean that different views or screens will need to be printed in order to show all the information, and it is important that this is done correctly.

View Part VII of our series below, or click here to see the entire interview.

Records Requests from Patients Who Owe for Services

Part VI of our series, Patient Records Requests: What you Need to Know, we explore the question of what to do when a records request comes from a patient who is in arrears. As attorney Richard J. Rymond of Reminger Co., LPA explains, even if a patient owes money for services, there is no justification for withholding that patient’s medical records. Patients are always entitled to their medical records. Richard also addresses the separate question on whether or not it is reasonable for physicians and healthcare facilities to charge for producing a copy of the patient’s medical records. He explains that many states have statutes limiting the amount that can be charged for producing copies of medical records. Richard also warns against high fees (even if legal) and a prepayment requirement, saying that physicians may want to reconsider these impulses due to risk management concerns.

View Part VI of our series below, or click here to see the entire interview.


 

Consulting with Colleagues on a Records Request

In Part V of our series, Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know, we ask attorney Richard J. Rymond of Reminger Co., LPA whether it is ever appropriate for a physician to consult with a colleague regarding a patient record request. As Richard explains, even in cases where the colleague has been involved with the patient’s care, it is best not to consult with anyone else. In general, records requests come at the end of patient care, so there would be no legitimate reason for the physician to consult with another healthcare provider, since care has been concluded. In fact, such a consultation may be considered a HIPAA violation.

See below to watch Part V of our interview, or watch the entire video here.

Reviewing Records Before Providing Them

In Part IV of our series, Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know, we ask attorney Richard J. Rymond of Reminger Co., LPA whether or not a physician should review patient records prior to providing them. As Richard explains, reviewing records to ensure that they are complete is a necessary task that a physician should do. It is also vital to make sure that there is nothing in the record that does not belong, such as a misfiled document from another patient’s chart. Any documents that do not belong in the patient’s records should be removed prior to providing the records.

See Part IV of our series below, or click here to watch the full interview from the beginning.


 

Original Records or Copies: What to Provide

In Part III of our series, Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know, we ask attorney Richard J. Rymond of Reminger Co., LPA whether it is better to provide the original records or copies of them. As Richard explains, copies are always recommended, as it is important for the physician to retain control over the records. If the original records are given, then the records could be inadvertently altered or misplaced.

Richard also goes on to explain the importance of providing a complete copy of the patient records, including any details such as color coding. Color coding can be found in both handwritten charts and electronic records, so physicians will need to be prepared to produce colored copies, whichever type of record they use.

View Part III of the series below. Or, watch the entire interview from the beginning here.


 

How to Respond to a Records Request from a Third Party

In Part II of our series, Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know, we ask attorney Richard J. Rymond of Reminger Co., LPA about responding to requests from a third party, such as a patient’s attorney or representative, or another healthcare provider. As Mr. Rymond explains, physicians can only release records to a third party if they receive a HIPAA-compliant authorization signed by the patient. Without this document, releasing records may violate HIPAA laws and expose physicians to additional liability. With this in mind, it is key that a physician contact their insurance company or a lawyer if there is any doubt on whether or not it is appropriate to release records to a third party.

See below to watch Part II of our interview, or click here to watch the entire video.


 

The Right Response to a Records Request

Many physicians will face a medical liability claim at some point during their practice – and most liability claims mean a request for patient records. Join us on the latest episode of Healthcare Matters, Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know, as we discuss how to respond to patient records requests with Richard J. Rymond, a trial attorney at Reminger Co., LPA who specializes in medical and dental liability, as well as other types of professional, general and commercial liability. In the first part of our interview, Richard explains how physicians should be careful to respond promptly and courteously, and with the complete information that is requested. He also stresses the importance of not making any changes, additions or alterations to patient records. Even if the physician has good intentions, as Richard explains, the consequences can be severe and can expose the physician to additional claims.

See below to watch Part I of the interview, or click here to watch the entire video.