Why Should I Get Copies of My Medical Records?

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medical records

Do you remember what happened when you needed to get a cast on your arm a decade ago, or how long it took you to recover?

That’s alright, with the pace of life, not many people are going to remember the details of their medical treatment. This is why doctors and billers use complex codes and keep records of the services provided so that they can be referred to in the future. But what happens if you need to provide your medical records to someone for legal reasons or if you are seeking a new doctor and they need to know your history?

Don’t be caught off guard by not having the information you need when you need it. Be sure to keep a copy of your medical history for your own records, and here are five reasons why:

1. Keep your records accessible 

One of the biggest problems with medical records that are held at a doctor’s practice is that they are not accessible if you need them, particularly for a personal injury case. For example, you need your records if you need to demonstrate that you received treatment, or if you move and another specialist needs information on what your last provider did.

By keeping a copy of your own medical records, you can have the confidence that you won’t have to file a request and wait a long time to receive them when you really need them. Especially in a post-pandemic world, doctors and their staff are extremely busy, and it may take them a while to get around to sending the medical records to you.

2. Ensure the security of your records

When your medical records are held by your doctor’s office, you run the risk of them being unavailable to you after a set period of time. Some practices have policies that require medical records to be expunged or destroyed after a limit of anywhere from five to twenty years, depending on the practice.

If your doctor’s practice burns down or floods, you could lose access to valuable medical data, forever. It is worth having a copy of your medical records especially if you were involved in an accident or other incident involving an injury in order to demonstrate the care you received. Do not let an accident or theft destroy valuable data that you may need in the future, especially when you begin planning for future care.

3. Peace of mind

When you have copies of your medical records, you are in control. If your doctor sells or closes their practice, or if your provider decides to move, then you have no way of knowing if your medical records will be preserved or if you will be permitted to access them.

When you keep a second copy of your medical records in your home or in a safety deposit box, you know that you will always be able to get to them. If you keep them in your home, make sure that they are protected against someone else looking through them or taking them.

Specific laws were created to protect the information held in medical records because it is private and confidential. Wherever you decide to store your copies of your medical records, make sure that you take precautions for the security of the data in them.

4. Have a backup plan

Having your own copy of medical records is a smart decision, but your home is just as likely to burn down as an office building. There are many methods for digitizing paper records in the modern world and having an electronic copy that you can access may be beneficial to you.

A USB drive is a good way to store digital records offline and is a good backup to the paper records you will likely be provided by your office.

If you choose to use a cloud service to store your data, make sure you thoroughly review their security practices to make sure that your personal information will be safe and keep in mind that if they ever announce that they have a breach, your medical records could be in the hands of unscrupulous people.

5. End of life care

When you have a copy of your medical records available, it helps your doctors and loved ones create the best plan for your care when you can no longer get around on your own.

Having information about your treatment and your physical and mental condition will allow for comprehensive handling of your specific situation so that you can be comfortable with assisted living or in-home care. While it is up to you or your power of attorney who your records are shared with and to what extent, having the information already accessible is a great place to start.

Why You Need Medical Billing Analysts

It is highly recommended to hire a medical billing and reimbursement expert to determine and testify to the reasonable value of medical service. The provider’s location can affect these costs and reimbursements.

Whether you are a plaintiff or a defendant in a case, one of the most important items in Automobile, Personal Injury, and Medical Malpractice cases is the cost of medical bills. Figuring out medical costs can be complicated, and expert guidance is critical to ensuring you have a clear understanding of what is “fair and reasonable” with regards to the finances involved in your medical care.

Medical Billing Analysts offers litigation support services nationwide, with offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Nevada & California. Medical Billing Analysts represents both defendants and plaintiffs with regard to improper medical billing and coding.

The team of MBA professionals will review the hospital, medical and therapy bills to determine the value of past medical expenses and based on local CPT codes they can also perform a Cost Projection Analysis of future costs. Through meticulous analysis, we can justify reasonable cost of services which assists in resolving the case.

Contact Medical Billing Analysts by phone or email at 800-292-1919 or intake@medicalbillinganalysts.com. We’re here for you, whether you need an evaluation of a single charge or a complex injury case.