Following an accident that leaves you injured and that was no fault of your own, you will need to prove that your injuries were caused in the accident. It is a common defense for insurers to claim you already had been hurt before an accident, especially in car accident cases. You will be in the same situation if you are hurt due to medical malpractice and need to show a link between your suffering and medical negligence.
In order to establish causation between an incident and an injury, your medical records are invaluable. Physicians and medical providers of all practices are required to keep a detailed record of all the care you have received in the last several years. In Texas, Medical Board Rule 165.1(b) requires medical records to be kept for the last seven years, at a minimum. The question then becomes, “How can you get your hands on a copy of your own medical records?”
Using Federal & State Acts to Get Medical Records
The Texas Medical Practice Act (TMPA) and the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) both give you the right to request a copy of your medical records from any of your medical providers. As the name implies, TMPA applies only to healthcare providers in Texas, while HIPAA covers everywhere else under its federal umbrella statute. When there is an overlap of regulations, a healthcare provider can choose whichever Act is the strictest, which is actually where problems can begin for you as a patient and medical record requester.
To request a copy of your medical records, you must submit the request in writing, including:
- Detailed description of what portion of your medical record you are seeking.
- Specific reason as to why you want a copy.
- Clearly state in express terms that you want the information released to you.
- Mention of how you would like the record, as in paper copy or digital.
- Your signature to validate the request.
Trying to get the information you want from your healthcare provider can be difficult if they are being uncooperative. You need to be specific about what part of your medical record you want to see, or else you could be provided the wrong information, or not enough of it. This is particularly problematic in that most medical providers are permitted to charge you a fee each time they send you medical records, with the cost increases as the page count increases.
Reliable Counsel from Experienced Attorneys
You can take the guesswork out of requesting your medical records by bringing your personal injury or medical malpractice claim to Maloney Law Group, P.L.L.C. and our San Antonio injury lawyers. We are led by Attorney Michael Maloney, a board-certified personal injury attorney who can use his 30+ years of practice experience to get to the core of any issue that arises in your claim. Our team can request your medical records on your behalf, collecting the exact records that best benefit your claim and utilizing them to benefit your chances of winning fair compensation.
Let’s work together to get you the most compensation possible for your injury or medical malpractice claim. Call us at (210) 361-2997 to request a FREE consultation with our team.