If you run a medical or insurance business, you're probably already aware of the release of information. It is common practice in the insurance and legal industries to settle lawsuits out of court to avoid damaging publicity. As a safeguard against the inappropriate disclosure of sensitive medical information, claimants are obliged to sign a release of information (ROI solutions) whenever a settlement offer is made or medical records are released to a 3rd party in connection with a case.
This article explains what a release of information is, why it's crucial, and how you can get your own or someone else's medical data.
What Does "Release of Information" Mean?
A release of information is a legal document that allows patients to specify what parts of their medical records they want to be made public, to whom they want those parts made public, for how long, and under what legal restrictions or rules. Protections for both the patient and the healthcare provider can be built into a release of information under HIPAA.
A release of medical records may be needed for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to the following:
- Insurance claims
- Fostering treatment stability
- Medical claims processing
- Calculating a premium for Life Insurance
- Information for legal processes
What Are The Various Types Of Release Of Information?
It is the law that patients be given access to their medical records in a hospital or clinic. However, it can be challenging to manage the release of information (ROI) while providing outstanding patient care. Here are five types of ROI:
1. On-Site ROI
For ROI services at your location, we may send a team of experts who have been thoroughly certified in HIPAA regulations to help you out. Benefit from the On-Site Return on Investment Services, which include:
- Well-trained experts with a wide variety of EMR systems, and as a result, they will be able to easily adopt your established routines and protocols.
- Medical staff will process requests and promptly provide the requested information.
2. Mobile ROI
When you sign up for our Mobile ROE services, we'll dispatch trained agents to your location to fulfill any record requests. Among the services offered are:
- Our team will utilize our own resources to get in and out as soon and effectively as feasible.
- The healthcare system will safely save your records, allowing you and the asking party to track the progress of your requests at all times.
3. Remote ROI
You can also take advantage of our Remote ROI service if you'd prefer not to have our team members present throughout the analysis phase. That means:
- Your electronic medical record is accessible to us in a safe and reliable manner.
- To relieve your business of this load, we will manage all client requests and communications remotely.
- The turnaround time will decrease significantly without disrupting your operations.
4. Shared ROI
If you use our shared ROI services, all your team has to do is send us the files, and we'll do the rest. Included in this service is:
- We process all billing for our customers.
- Both your facility and the healthcare system receive a fair share of the revenue.
- Before any data is released to customers, it undergoes a stringent quality control process.
5. Full-Service ROI
Our Full-Service ROI is the way to go if you require a healthcare system to manage the entire return on investment process.
- Simply send patients and other requestors our way, and we'll handle retrieving the necessary records.
- We'll send business cards with all the information patients and anyone who makes requests about healthcare ROI.
- The comprehensive ROR ensures that nobody on your team will ever waste time responding to records requests.
Who May Approve My Release of Information Authorization?
Each individual will typically need to complete and sign their own Release of Information Authorization Form. It's important to understand that there are certain notable exceptions, and they pertain to the following groups of people:
If a patient is mentally or physically unable to sign, a legal guardian or other authorized representative can do so in their place.
Children under 12 years old: Forms for children under 12 years old must be completed by parents or legal guardians.
Medical records relating to psychiatric or substance misuse treatment for minors between the ages of 12 and 17 must be released only with parental or legal guardian consent.
Deceased patients – Patients who have passed away can have their medical files requested by an heir or other legal agent.
What Details Are Necessary for the Release of Medical Records?
We require the following details in order to fulfill your medical records request after we have obtained the signed authorization:
- Name, DOB, and identifier of patient
- Include the doctor's or provider's name and contact information if they have your records.
- Requested documentation duration
- The Nature of the Requested Files (labs, notes, allergies, etc.)
Is There Any Way My Details Could Be Disclosed Without My Permission?
There are exceptions to the requirement of consent for the release of patient medical records. There are four broad categories in which information about you could be shared without your knowledge or permission:
It is very common practice for insurance companies to evaluate patient medical records before approving a claim. Usually, they will order the files without your knowledge.
In response to a valid subpoena, your doctor or healthcare provider must provide your medical records.
In order to provide you with the best care possible, an emergency room physician may need to review your medical history.
Random Assessments for Quality Assurance
Accrediting bodies conduct audits and quality control inspections on healthcare facilities to ensure they meet their standards. It's possible that your files will end up in the pool of records chosen at random for this reason.
How Can I Call for a Copy of My Health Records?
Requesting medical records requires first completing a valid authorization form. It is your duty to deliver the signed authorization and the records request to the appropriate party. Given the typically huge and disorganized nature of healthcare providers' back offices, this can be challenging
It seems like finding the right person to address your request would be easy, but it's not. After figuring out who should receive the request and sending it along, the next step is to follow up with the facility to ensure that they received it and to arrange for payment.