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The HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) rules came in with all types of hulla ballou about all of the lawsuits and problems that they would bring. The reality is that the law was passed so that medical providers couldn’t just share your personal information any way they choose. It’s not unusual to see disclosures that were just plain dumb. Violations that a third grader would question.

Unfortunately, whether it’s bad advice, attempts to hide the truth, or just simple laziness, some providers are citing the law to prevent patients from getting their own records. This is simply wrong. Under HIPAA, consumers have every right to access all of their medical records.

Most states have laws that control the cost for locating, photocopying, and for making records available. HIPPA also requires providers to give patients the information they ask for in the format they request. Nowhere in the law is the shield that some providers attempt to create.

HIPPA has specific requirements for release to third parties. At our firm, we have about 20 different authorizations that we use for different providers. There are limited authorizations we provide to the defense, that never allow them to talk to the doctors. Those limited authorizations are one of the many areas where unrepresented individuals are taken advantage of in litigation. Unfettered access to medical providers has ruined many legitimate claims. Always keep in mind , the provider is looking to get paid and the insurance companies are working to reduce their exposure.

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