Medical Records in Personal Injury Cases
Patient Privacy in Utah Personal Injury Cases
Each state carries some laws protecting a patient’s privacy in medical practices. However, due to the gaps in the patient privacy in some state laws, in 1996 Congress established HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) which enacted a nation-wide call for protection concerning patient privacy. All medical records in any form, whether paper, electronic or oral, containing patients individual identifiable information is protected by HIPAA.
Nearly all licensed health care providers, pharmacists, hospitals, psychologists, physicians, dentists, and many more are subject to HIPAA. Certain penalties are provided by HIPAA if violated. Those who violated this law can be penalized tens of thousands of dollars. Further, some Federal criminal penalties can apply to those who knowingly violated HIPAA, including up prison time. If protected patient information is obtained, the application of greater criminal penalties may be taken into action.
Medical Records are Key to Any Personal Injury Claim
Medical records should try to be obtained as soon as possible when dealing with a personal injury case. Although some records may seem irrelevant, the importance of evidence of any kind is too great to over look anything. Records that are kept including computerized hospital records, ambulance records, admittance records, physician records, etc. should be obtained as quickly as feasible. However, there are some HIPAA requirements that may interfere with the release of records. Some of these requirements include patients requesting restricted access, written policies prohibiting disclosure, and a patient’s interference with disclosure.
Patients who request restrictions can cause problems because depending on the state laws, certain disclosures of patient information that will not allow for request of records are not preempted by HIPAA. Written policies can be an issue because HIPAA requires health providers to carry written privacy policies and procedures. Some providers, however, do not make revisions in their policies that would allow an attorney’s request for records.
Experienced Salt Lake Personal Injury Attorneys
When dealing with a personal injury case it is important to quickly get a skilled attorney with experience and knowledge in obtaining the necessary medical documentation. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Salcido Law Firm PLLC for your personal injury representation. 801.413.1753.