Many years ago, I was diagnosed with a medical condition that was not life threatening, but did cause various problems. I had went to specialists for well over a year without much help. At the time, there wasn't much treatment for this medical condition. Over the years, I dealt with this problem.
Recently I read about my problem and now there are new treatments that may help me. In the past twenty years, my husband's employer would change medical plans which meant, at times, we had to change doctors. I always would have our medical records transferred. To my surprise, when I mentioned this condition to my current family doctor, she said I didn't have any medical records about this condition there. I never mentioned any of this to her before since it wasn't serious.
I know I would have to have more current tests done if I wanted to try the new treatments. But it did bother me that these records were not forwarded as I thought they should be. Other than pregnancies and this medical condition, I didn't have any other medical issues. I contacted the specialists' office and since it was over ten years ago, the records had been destroyed.
I should have checked with each of the doctors to be sure all the records were there. I took for granted that all the records would automatically be transferred.
Hopefully I will never have to change doctors again, but if I do, I will make sure all my medical records are forwarded properly.
By mkymlp from NE PA
Since most Doctors today charge a huge fee for transferring records, it is doubly important to be sure they were actually transferred!
I had a hearing test done from an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor. When I moved to another city and asked for my records I was told there would be a fee unless they sent the records to another doctor. I wasn't going to another doctor I just wanted the records for my own keeping. I paid for service and rightly these records should be mine without further charge. I think this is unethical and if It ever happens again I'll research to see if he can legally charge me.
The HIPPA act/law allows you to have a copy of your records. Remember the form you have to sign each time giving permission to release records if needed? That includes you,too. Its probably legal for them to charge a small fee. I always have requested copies of my records because of things like you mentioned. You also learn things the Dr may not have told you also! I keep a copy and take a copy to my primary doctor to scan into their records. Saves time of repeating information and cost of having unnecessary tests done again.
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