It seems like it should be easy. Medical records and bills are needed to support a personal injury claim. The doctors office has them. You should be able to go the to the office and pick them up. Easy, right? Maryland car accident lawyers would probably be unanimous in wishing you "good luck". Of course, medical records are a vital part of any car accident claim, whether presented to a jury, judge or expert witness, your Maryland car accident lawyer must have these documents to fully present your case. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) regulates who, and how one can get your records.
Many patients are shocked to hear a clerk at their doctor's office tell them, because of HIPAA, they cannot have their own records, but their attorney can!
Of course, that is not the law, and never has been. The reality is, by 2019, that most medical practices have outsourced their medical records, and their medical billing, and may, and likely do not have such records in the office. For those that do, some have suggested a reason for this policy of not providing records to a patient but only to any attorney who needs them may lie in the fact that some medical providers, or their records retention services, charge a dollar or more a page to produce records to an attorney. Obtaining records can become an enormous task. The process of getting full and accurate records can sometimes take on case-within-a-case dimensions.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 11/13/19.