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authorization, past medical history Florida

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  • authorization, past medical history Florida

    My WC "Authorization for Release of Information" that I signed states: "I agree that this authorization will permit (WC company) and its representatives to obtain, review, and copy all and any information PERTAINING to my injury or illness and any pre-existing condition(s) that MAY BE RELEVANT to the injury or illness in questions."

    I have just received 6 copies of subpeonas for medical records that read: "Copies of ANY AND ALL medical reports/records, x-ray reports, doctor/nurse/office notes and any other memoranda of WHATEVER KIND, NATURE or DESCRIPTION, including bills, PERTAINING TO THE CARE AND TREATMENT OF (myself) ."

    Have they violated my rights by requesting ANY AND ALL INFORMATION, as oppossed to limiting their request to PERTAINING TO/MAY BE RELEVANT to the injury as I authorized?

    I was treated at one of the hospitals for several unrelated things over 20 years ... 97% of what they are asking for has nothing to do with my injury and I feel my privacy rights have been infringed upon. Injury IS distinguishable ... neck injury. They will find one neck injury & a few minor MVA's which were all treat & release by this facility. I don't feel they should be priviliged to my entire medical history including infertilty problems, etc when a distinction of what they are looking for could have been made and is what is stated in my release authorization!
    Last edited by 5623744; 11-18-2006, 10:58 AM.

  • #2
    No this is not a violation of your rights. There are two separate processes being used here. The medical authorization is simply a request for your related medical records but has no force in law.

    The subpeona does carry some force in law and it can be for anything. There must be a reason for it such as a WC claim but that doesn't mean the insurer is going to use a lot of the info. It isn't always easy to distinguish what is related and what is not. Sure some things can be ruled out and they will be. However, a MVA where you injured your back or shoulder may be relevant even though it wasn't the neck per se. Even if it just shows that despite having been in prior accidents, you had not ever injured that body part.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


    • #3
      Now WC lawyers want me to sign an authorization requesting not only ANY & ALL medical records, but also ANY & ALL psychiatric, substance abuse and HIV testing. What the heck does any of this have to do with a cervical bulging disc pressing on a nerve root??? Have they gone too far? Do I have to sign the release? The stress & anxiety all this is causing me also landed me in the ER via 9-1-1 for chest pains last week ... I can't take much more! I have tried to be cooperative up until this point ... but I think it's time for me to hire an attorney.


      • #4
        I'm not sure why requesting medical records would cause you this much stress. I will say it isn't unusual to request ALL records, which could include psychiatric etc. There are a variety of reasons for requesting them, most of which are to protect you. Just as an example, if you had been treated for dependence on narcotics or a certain drug, they certainly wouldn't want to put you back on that drug.

        If you do not sign the authorization, they can still request the records by subpeona. Not signing doesn't prevent them from obtaining the records, it just means they need to go about obtaining them in a different manner.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


        • #5
          If you don't feel that the medical records that they are requesting are relevant you can always file with the Workers Comp Board for a protective order. Many times the insurance companies go overboard in their requests.
          I would agree with you in the case that the request for ANY & ALL psychiatric, substance abuse and HIV testing records is excessive. If it doesn't have anything to do with your injury than don't sign it. If the IC feels they really need those records than they have the burden of requesting a hearing. Then you'll get a chance to speak your mind. I had this happen to me years ago and the IC got slammed by the WC Board.


          • #6
            If you don't sign the authorization, then the records would need to be obtained by subpeona. You would challenge the subpeona if you wanted the records blocked. Some states are more likely to allow this than others.

            I agree that the HIV test is a bit over the top for your run of the mill claim but not knowing the issues in the claim, will reserve judgement on that. There are times when it is entirely relevant.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


            • #7
              Thank you for your replies ... regarding the stress ... it's not just the records ...

              #1: it's a matter of principal ... I personally don't think my entire life history that is totally irrelevant to the injury is any of their business or anyone else's for that matter ... and I still feel like they are infringing on my privacy rights.

              #2: from past & present experience, doctors notes do not always relflect what I have actually said and this could be damaging to me.

              #3: WC nurse case manager told me this would be resolved within a few weeks, they just needed to know "if I've ever been told I needed surgery before" (answer is no) ... that was almost 6 weeks ago. Review dates were set for 11/23 + 11/27 according to subpeonas that were sent and I have yet to hear anything and WC hasn't returned my calls for 2 days.

              #4: WC case worker also told me several weeks ago that their lawyers had "dropped the ball" in getting started on my case, that was enough to tick me off to begin with.

              #5: WC knew in August that if a series of injections over a 5 week period didn't help, that surgery would be the next step. They knew after 3 weeks the injections weren't working so surgery would be inevitable ... why did they not start all this back then? I had also asked my WC nurse case manager atleast 6 times if there would be a problem w/approval for surgery and he said no back in August & September.

              #6: because they are requesting out of state records and some facilities are not accepting my original release even though they are accompanied by a subpeona, this is is causing even further delays. Surgery was originally schedule for 4 weeks ago today ... now l'll be lucky if it's done sometime in the next 4-8 weeks.

              #7: Pain I am in is excruciating ... that's enough in itself to stress anyone out! Not sure if you've ever had a pinched nerve, but it's one of the worst pains I've ever experienced, and even though I'm on enough medication to tranqualize a horse, it barely takes the edge off. I can't drive if I take my morphine 2x daily like I'm suppose to, so basicaly feel like a prisoner confirned in my own home for weeks now.

              #8: My nuerosurgeon reviewed my MRI from early 2002 injury and sent them a letter saying results were not even related to the existing injury. He also stated that further delays are likely to cause further damage with concern for the strength and use of my arm.

              I could go on ... but these are just a few of the reasons of why this is stressing me out!!!

              Do I have right to know what they believe "their findings are" in all my medical records? From what I understand, this is all reviewed by a Judge. Do I get a chance to defend myself regarding anything they may find that would make them deny my claim or reduce my coverage?

              P.S. - Have an initial consultation with a lawyer tomorrow.
              Last edited by 5623744; 11-30-2006, 09:48 PM.


              • #8
                First all, since they are the ones paying for the surgery and for you to be off for treatment and recovery, they do have a right to the records. If you have prior accidents in your history, then that is very relevant and yes, they do need those records. They also have a vested interest in getting this resolved soon. Unfortunately, WC follows set procedures and yes, that often means more delays than if you were paying for it yourself or using private insurance.

                I'm not sure when you first sought authorization for surgery or why one was arranged 4 weeks ago without authorization. That is the fault of whichever doctor scheduled the procedure. If your previous doctors are not releasing records or complying with subpeonas, that isn't WC's fault. Trust me when I say they are probably just as frustrated by this as you. One thing you can do is call them up and request the records yourself. They are your records and releases and subpeonas are only necessary when there is no other method to obtain the records. If you call and let them know you want them released, 99% of the time the doctor will comply. Your agreement or court order is what is necessary. You were their patient and have infinitely more pull than a random adjuster or even lawyer calling.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


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