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Fairfax, Leesburg & Loudoun, Virginia

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Doug Landau
Doug Landau
Attorney • (866) 735-1102 Ext 610

Danger From Doctors Outsourcing to Medical Record Copying Services

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Even where an injured car crash victim takes steps to protect their and their families’ privacy by NOT signing the Defendant driver’s insurance company "Medical Record Release," once the injury lawsuit is filed, the Defense lawyers will subpoena (request) directly from the doctors a copy of the medical records. Many doctors, hospitals and other health care providers have "outsourced" the copying of their patients’ medical records in an effort to save money. These outsourcing medical record copying companies charge money to the people who request these copies. They are not cheap. They charge more than Kinkos and other copying facilities. It is a big business.

At the Herndon injury law firm ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd., we read the medical records of our disabled car accident clients. We are surprised to see that we receive records of people, not our clients, whose records are misfiled, copied and then sent to us. We are also surprised when we receive the wrong medical charts entirely. But recently, we were apprised of the fact that these outsourced medical record copying services do not do anything other than duplicate paperwork. In one case, confidential correspondence, not generated as the result of any medical treatment, review of testing results, communications with the patient or other treating physicians, was copied by the not so "Smart" copying service, and sent to the lawyers on the other side of the case, with calamitous results.

So what’s the solution ? First, you may not want to sign the "Medical Releases" of the other driver’s insurance company. Is there a state law requiring that you do so ? Ask the insurance company to send you a copy.

Second, if you inadvertently signed the insurance company’s blanket "Medical Release," send them, certified mail, return receipt requested, restricted delivery, retraction of this permission. This will take away permission for them to get further and future private medical records. Also tell your doctors that you terminated the Release so that they do not inadvertently send any more of your private files.

Lastly, look over a copy of your OWN medical records or have an experienced car crash injury law firm do so for you. They can make sure that someone else’s records are not mixed in with your chart, that there will be no surprises later in the case, and that the claimed injuries and harms are documented in the file.