Medical records and insurance claims

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Manage medical records and insurance claims FAQs

Managing your medical records and insurance claims can be overwhelming, but it can be done. You have legal rights to access most of your medical records and tracking your insurance claims can help ensure that you better manage billing errors.

How do I get copies of my medical records?

If your provider doesn't have a specific form you need to submit to request a copy of your medical records, you can use our Medical Records Request letter. Be patient, it can take over a month to get your records and they may charge you a fee.

Medical records you may be able to obtain:

  • Diagnostic results such as blood tests, x-rays or biopsies
  • Your provider's notes and records
  • Notes from other care providers used by your doctor to make a diagnosis
  • Admission records

Medical records you may not be able to obtain:

  • Notes from mental health sessions
  • Information to be used in a lawsuit
  • Records that mention other patients
  • Records that may compromise your health or safety

Who has access to my medical records?

For the most part, access to your medical records is limited to only those who need access to provide care or to provide payment. If you are over 18 years of age, your parents should no longer have access without your permission. Your spouse or a close relative may have access if you are incapacitated. If you want to assign someone to manage your health care choices if you become unable, you can use a Health Care Power of Attorney document to appoint a health care proxy.

How do I track my insurance claims?

Tracking your medical insurance claims while undergoing treatment can be a nightmare; however, tracking your information can save you a lot of money if billing errors are made. While billing errors only account for a few percentages of all medical billing submissions, it does happen, and you may benefit from carefully tracking your medical insurance information.

You'll benefit from creating files to organize your medical correspondence. Items to track include:

  • Notes about each appointment including dates, procedures performed and tests completed
  • Records of all medications prescribed and their receipts
  • Proof of insurance premium payments
  • All copay receipts
  • All correspondence received from your medical insurance company
  • All bills, statement, payment statements and other medical providers
  • If out-of-pocket expenses are high, receipts of expenses such as food and travel for possible tax benefit

If you choose to hire a person or service to manage and track your medical insurance information, make sure that they are trustworthy and capable.

How do I obtain medical records form a retired doctor or a closed office?

If your medical provider is no longer in practice or the office you used to go to is no longer in business, you may still be able to obtain your records. By law, they are required to transfer your records to another provider for safekeeping or your records may be kept in a secure document storage facility.

If your provider did not inform you as to where your records would be sent, you can attempt to find them by contacting,

  • The group that may have purchased the previous practice
  • Your insurance company to see if they have the latest contact information for the provider
  • The local Medical Society to see if they have their latest contact information listed
  • Local hospitals where they may continue to work at
  • Labs or specialist that may know where your records were sent
  • Someone who worked in the office who may know where your records were sent