In a previous blog entry, we discussed how you can request copies of your own medical records in Texas. While this might be the norm for many people, there are also many situations in which you will need to get a copy of someone else’s medical records. For example, if your loved one has been in a serious accident that left them disabled or debilitated, they might not have the energy or capacity to go through all the steps of requesting a copy on their own. Instead, it might fall on you to get those copies for them.
Requesting Copies for a Relatively Healthy Person
The person who asks you to collect their medical records for them does not need to be incapacitated or severely injured. They can simply not want to go through the process themselves and would rather someone else deal with it. Many personal injury claimants will give their lawyers permission to request medical records for them to simplify their claim process, even if they could have filed the request themselves.
If you have to request a copy of someone else’s medical records in Texas, they only need to sign a Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPPA) form with the request and give it to you. At that point, you can use the form as needed, either by hand-delivering it with a medical group or mailing for them. With their name and signature matching on the form, there should not be any further complications in the process beyond the typical steps.
Requesting Copies for an Incapacitated Person
When you need to collect medical records on behalf of someone who is incapacitated, the rules change. Specifically, the people who can make those requests are limited to only a few parties, including parents, guardians, and anyone who has been given medical power of attorney (POA) by that person. If the incapacitated person has no surviving parents or guardians and no medical POA has been authorized, then a court’s intervention might be required to assign a guardian or conservator for the incapacitated person. Once the court reaches that decision, the new guardian can request a copy of the medical records.
Requesting Copies for Someone Who Has Passed Away
Collecting a copy of medical records for someone who has passed away introduces another set of rules to the process. The responsibility will usually be given to the next of kin indicated on the deceased’s death certificate.
If the named next of kin is unavailable or does not want to retrieve a copy, then anyone who is named as an inheritor to the deceased’s estate through a valid affidavit or declaration of heirship can instead. If a court uses letters testamentary to give certain authorities to the executor of the deceased’s will, then that executor can also request copies of the deceased’s medical records.
We Keep Legal Processes Simple
Rather than spending your time and energy trying to figure out if or how you can request copies of medical records for another person, come to Maloney Law Group, P.L.L.C. in San Antonio and let us lend a professional hand. We can guide you through all processes and situations, whether you are requesting the copies on behalf of a loved one, someone who is incapacitated, or someone who has passed away. With a comprehensive copy of their medical records, a stronger personal injury or wrongful death claim can be built, which is also something our attorneys can help manage.
When you have a moment, call (210) 361-2997 and tell us how we can be of service to you!