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Old 08-19-2004, 07:36 AM   #1
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Can't seem to get records

I have been trying to gt my records from former Dr.s since I was dxed in mid June with Lupus as well as having RA and Hashi's. I want to compile a medical history of my own to take with me if I have to see other physicians or sent to a Rheumie.

First I sent a letter the end of June requesting them. When I didn't hear back from them in 2 weeks I called. I was told they never received a letter. Told them I would send another one in a day or two. Again I didn't hear for several weeks. I called one day and was told they received the letter but hadn't given it to the Dr. yet for clearence.

Yesterday I called again. Now I am told they have a form I must fill out and sign and they will only go back two years for copies. I told them I wanted all my records, especially copies of any tests that were done in the past 5 years. She said she didn't know if they could go back that far. Even when they send records to other physicians they usually only go back two years. I repeated that I wanted copies as far back as they could go and that I would be right down to sign their form.

When I arrived the receptionist handed me the form, said I had to fill it out in her presence, and asked why I wanted the records. She said it isn't office policy to make copies for patients, only other physicians. I told her I wanted them for my own personal use as I was starting my own health file. She gave me this song and dance about having to get permission from all the Dr.s who have ever seen me in the office (there are 6 of them), and from all the labs that did any testing.

Now, much to my shame, I just lost my temper. I leaned in real close and I told her is as low and nasty a voice as I could muster that they were my records and the only permission she needed to copy and release them was mine. I also told her if she liked I would hire a lawyer to tell her that as well and if the records were not ready to be picked up by Aug 27th a lawyer is exactly what they would hear from next.

I can't tell you all how ashamed of myself I am for losing my temper like that. She is only a receptionist after all and only following orders I'm sure. Forty lashes with a wet noodle is probably in order for me. To make matters worse, I'm still not sure I'm going to get the records.

Just had to vent and see if anyone else ever had so much trouble obtaining past records.

May God Bless You
Patience 50

 
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Old 08-19-2004, 07:43 AM   #2
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Re: Can't seem to get records

Quote:
Originally Posted by patience 50
I leaned in real close and I told her is as low and nasty a voice as I could muster that they were my records and the only permission she needed to copy and release them was mine. I also told her if she liked I would hire a lawyer to tell her that as well and if the records were not ready to be picked up by Aug 27th a lawyer is exactly what they would hear from next.

I can't tell you all how ashamed of myself I am for losing my temper like that. She is only a receptionist after all and only following orders I'm sure. Forty lashes with a wet noodle is probably in order for me. To make matters worse, I'm still not sure I'm going to get the records.
Well I for one am proud that you stood up to her like that. I know what it's like dealing with doctors and the medical establishment in general about this matter. I've only been doing it for a few months, you've been doing it for years - you showed incredible restraint, IMHO.

I kid you not, I had this great big grin on my face when I read your post and I thought "Good for her!".

I hope you get those records pronto.
Nat
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Old 08-19-2004, 08:18 AM   #3
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Re: Can't seem to get records

Thanx Gopher. I struggle with issues like this constantly. I am 54, well grown, but I still go back to nice ladies don't make a fuss. I am just so frustrated with the whole thing, that these people never looked for anything and in truth, I never got nasty and pushed. I trusted them completely and now I feel so annoyed, betrayed, and even angry at the way they do business.

I am working at taking over my own medical care more but it is such an uphill battle and I weaken so often. Still in all, it shouldn't be so hard to just get copies of records.

May God Bless You
Patience 50

 
Old 08-19-2004, 08:28 AM   #4
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Re: Can't seem to get records

The new HIPAA laws that took effect in April, 2003 state that the patient is allowed one copy of their records. The office may charge a copying fee within reason and also require a release form signed by the patient.

Here is more information on patient rights under HIPAA:

[url]http://www.uthscsa.edu/hipaa/patientrights/InformationOnPatientRightsUnderHIPAA.pdf[/url]
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Old 08-19-2004, 08:54 AM   #5
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Re: Can't seem to get records

Way to go girl! I think that you owe yourself congrats. I don't think you were nasty, you were requesting something that is entitled to you. Sometimes the receptionists in doctors offices are really snooty and they think they are God just like the doctors. You are right with telling them that you might get a lawyer if you don't receive your records. Hope they come soon!

 
Old 08-19-2004, 09:16 AM   #6
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Re: Can't seem to get records

Thankx for the web site K9. More ammo if I need it. You and Bella encourage me to stick to my guns. If the copies aren't ready by the 27th I will have to follow through with a lawyer but I truly hate the thought. I sincerely hope it doesn't come to that..

May God Bless You
Patience 50

 
Old 08-19-2004, 11:44 AM   #7
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Re: Can't seem to get records

It can definitely be a hassle getting records! I had some testing done right before my senior year of high school. Then, for the results, the doc sat down with me alone, had a separate meeting with my parents, and sent a report to my other doctor. Apparently, the same things were not said in each of those three communications, so I was interested to find out exactly what was in that report. Two years later, I was in college across the country with a new doctor and wanted those test results. We did all the paperwork, but then the old doc said that she wouldn't send them unless she could actually talk to the new doctor about the results, and the only time that she would do that was on a Sunday. So my new doc said no, only during normal business hours, etc.

So I just gave up for a while, but then I got really curious again, and started making phone calls and such. I called her work number and her cell phone and talked with her many times. She kept giving me the runaround, such as "well, these results are several years old and don't really matter now." So I finally left this nasty message about which state statutes she was in violation of and exactly how many laws she was breaking by not complying with my request. Still no records.

Finally, I was back in the state for a visit, and I actually went to her office, but of course she wasn't there and the secretary couldn't do anything but take a message. So we left a message from my mom, who is a current patient of hers, because she had stopped returning my phone calls. She called back and gave us a song and dance about how it was going to be really hard to get the report because it was on an old computer that was sitting somewhere unplugged, etc. (Hasn't she ever heard of a CD or other forms of data storage???) And then she said something about how she wasn't going to be in the office to actually give me the records. But we kept at it, and she finally agreed to copy them and leave them in a folder in her waiting room with the door unlocked so we could go in and pick them up.

So five years after the testing and three years after my original request, I finally have my records. Just keep at it. And don't worry about threatening legal action. It is perfectly valid to threaten legal action when somebody is violating the law! Good luck.

 
Old 08-19-2004, 12:51 PM   #8
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Re: Can't seem to get records

Oh Patience.... I'm rolling on the floor laughing! Not at your predicament... perish that thought... But at the way you acted and what you said to that receptionist! It's so-ooo out of character for you that I can't help but laugh. Sorry.

I never had a regular doctor until this hypo business came up within the last two years, and I'm 54. So I have no records to speak of. And I sadly have no advice to offer you about your rights to your records or how to get them.
If you know a lawyer - as a friend or relative, not necessarily through business - you could have them write a letter on their letterhead. It might scare the doc's office into action; but I guess it could backfire too and scare them into inaction just as easily.
I wish you luck in getting what you want.
Just wanted to say you made me smile, even if you didn't intend to. (Shame on me. )

 
Old 08-19-2004, 01:31 PM   #9
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Re: Can't seem to get records

I must tell U Midwest, my neighbor had the same reaction a little while ago. If laughter is the best medicine I think all 3 of us have had a good dose because when she pointed it out, the hilarity just bowled me over. We sat and laughed till tears rolled. It is certainly out of character for me. I still can't believe how forward and assertive I'm becoming. That poor, poor receptionist. I have been feeling so badly ever since I did it, but truthfully I don't know what else to do to get my records. In any event , I'm happy to have provided some laughter for us all.

May God Bless You
Patience 50

 
Old 08-19-2004, 02:17 PM   #10
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Re: Can't seem to get records

good for you patience!! them receptionists are cloned l think lol well they are where l come from (UK) stepford witches lol hahaha good on ya girl sometimes you only get what you want from demanding there yours get em!!! good luck xx

 
Old 08-19-2004, 03:38 PM   #11
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Re: Can't seem to get records

Patience, AFTER you get your records you can take the receptionist some cookies....relieve your guilt. But don't do it until you get the records!
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Old 08-19-2004, 05:45 PM   #12
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Re: Can't seem to get records

Patience:
You made my day. I am 58 and was also taught that you don't question authority figures such as doctors. Since being diagnosed with diabetes and doing a lot of medical reading, I firmly believe now that I have been hypoT for many years and my doctor has kept telling me I was normal. I have now decided to take matters into my own hands and start to demand the tests I need. And don't worry because she was just a receptionist. They can pass the grief on to the doctor. Apologize to her later if you feel you need to. Good luck and stay strong!

 
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