Visitor Question

Releasing records to another doctor?

Submitted By: Kandice (Selma, AL, USA)

I have a quick question about privacy and medical records…

Can worker’s compensation-related medical records be released to another physician’s office if the patient signs a release of information? Or do these notes stay strictly between the current doctor, employer & employee? Does anyone else have access to the employee’s medical records? Thanks for any information you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Kandice,

Whether any patient’s medical records can properly be released to another party will depend on the wording of the release. Some releases are restrictive and only permit a patient’s records to be released to the specific party named on the form. Other releases are more general, and permit medical records to be released to a number of parties, often at the discretion of the party in original possession of the records.

If you are concerned about the release you may have signed, ask for a copy of it, or access to the original. Read it closely and determine which parties you may have authorized to receive your medical records, if any.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or “HIPAA” severely restricts the release of medical information to third parties. Additionally, HIPAA includes serious penalties for wrongful release of a patient’s information. If you are concerned your medical information may have been wrongfully released go to the HIPAA website. There you’ll be able to scrutinize the issues regarding release of medical records and other options available to an aggrieved party.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 10, 2014

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