The Medical Record Retrieval Process: What to Know

Oct 10 2018 | posted by LORR Team

The medical record retrieval process isn’t a simple one, largely because of a privacy law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.

HIPAA aims to protect the private medical data of American citizens by making it difficult to access medical records and other information that attorneys might need from hospitals, doctors, or other professionals in the healthcare space.

Attorneys need those records if their client’s claims pertain to an injury, medical treatment, malpractice, negligence, worker’s comp, or something similar. So, how do you go about getting them? Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Have your client get the record for you. Patients are allowed to access their own medical records, so if the record you need is your client’s, you can simply ask them to request the record themselves and give you a copy. Keep in mind that this only works if the patient whose record you need is legally on your side and if the patient is willing and proactive enough to request the record from the appropriate agency in a timely manner.
  2. Subpoena the medical provider. You can subpoena a healthcare facility or provider for a record, but you’ll need a HIPAA-compliant authorization form signed by the patient to do it. Each entity has its own unique form, so this means you’ll need to get in touch with the appropriate records department before going this route.
  3. Seek a court order. A court order can help you acquire the necessary medical records, but you must be extremely specific both in what records you need and why you need them. If court orders are too vague or non-specific, record custodians may only send partial files, leaving you without the full picture of information for your case.

This process can be stressful, but with the help of a litigation support team like LORR, the medical record retrieval process can be simplified. With decades of experience in the business, we’ve helped thousands of attorneys and lawyers just like you streamline their records requests and get the medical data they needed to build their case.

Need help with your medical record retrieval in San Antonio, Texas? Fill out our online form now to get started.