Academy of Chiropractic
Quickie Podcast 1299
Office Systems 135 OS
Preamble: Many of the issues I bring to you are very small, yet each issue is just that, an issue. If you take care of the small issues, then you will be able to build and more importantly, focus on the bigger issues...a larger practice and more family time. -Mark Studin 2006
Improper Third-Party Records-Request
“I can because I can” Mark Studin 2020
I received the following from Dr. Steve Skaggs, a Trauma Qualified doctor in Missouri. My response is below:
We had a records request from a third party recently. The request was a little strange, first it had no letter from the attorney stating that they were acting on the behalf of any office. We received the request via fax and immediately began receiving phones calls as to when the records would be furnished. Every 3 days we would get a phone call inquiring when the records would be furnished. Needless to say, they we being a pain in my ass! As with each phone call we would notify them that our primary concern was to furnish care for our patients, that we had no dedicated staff like the hospitals to simply pull and furnish medical records. That we pull records in slack times, of recent they are few in between and each time they called their request went to the bottom of the pile of request and the request would be filled in a timely manner. The last time they called a mouthy staff member became very obnoxious and told me she did not like my attitude and she was going to report me to the state board, I asked her if she wanted the phone number!
Since that last phone call I have written the company a letter stating that we declined to furnish the records and any records to their company in the future. We carbon copied the attorney on the letter. The attorney for my patient has since contacted me stating that the opposing counsel was attempting to get records after the date of discovery and under no circumstances was I to furnish records without his permission. WE ALWAYS get permission prior to furnishing opposing counsel with notes.
To this date we have yet to be turned over to the board for not furnishing records on this case. It is to the point that I may simply decline request for records from every third party records company just to cover my ass. The last HIPAA seminar said nothing about third party companies, so what kind of parameters are there for third party request?
Can you offer up an opinion?
Not only did you do the correct thing, but I am going to share this with the group. You NEVER send anything unless you have a subpoena duces tecum from the opposing counsel. Third-Party groups have no right to nay records, nor do the opposing counsel without requisite subpoena. Also, I always seek counsel from the plaintiff's lawyer before I send anything. No surprises, it makes for a long-term relationship.. Good Job...