How to Deal With Your Doctor to Get Your Medical Records And The Information You Need
Anyone affected by the hip replacement recall should get in touch with their surgeon or the medical facility where the surgery took place. By taking this simple step, patients will be able to determine whether they received a DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip or ASR Hip Resurfacing System, the two recalled hip implants.
Many individuals likely assumed they would simply have to make a phone call to obtain this information, but getting it is proving to be quite difficult for some. Your doctor or surgeon is permitted to share information from your records upon request. He or she could, for instance, provide it during a consultation or allow you to come to the office to pick it up. If for some reason your surgeon or physician is refusing to share this essential information with you on an informal basis, however, there are steps you should take and patient rights of which you need to be aware:
In the United States, patients have the right to view their medical records and request a copy of almost anything contained within them. There are a few exceptions to this, but they would not be grounds to deny access to data regarding a hip replacement.
If a casual request for information is unsuccessful, make a formal request in writing to your surgeon, doctor or the healthcare facility where the procedure was performed. Try to be as thorough as possible so the data you need can be located quickly. In your letter, include relevant dates, the location of the procedure, the exact information you are requesting and your medical identification number (if applicable). You should also indicate whether you simply want to see your records or would like copies of the relevant documents.
You may have to wait up to 30 days to receive requested information, and the physician or facility may charge you a small amount for copying the records and for postage if applicable. However, they cannot bill you for the time spent to locate this information.
If there is no response to your request within 30 days or you are denied access, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Civil Rights and possibly a regulatory body in your state. These organizations will investigate the matter. The physician or facility may be reprimanded or simply ordered to provide you with the information you need.
When you are trying to get your medical records you should remain calm, but be very firm. Remind anyone you speak to that it is your right to review your own medical records upon request, and make it clear that you will file a complaint if they do not comply. With persistence, you should be able to get the necessary information to determine whether you need follow-up care. If you did have one of the DePuy hip replacements implanted, then your next step is to contact a hip replacement lawyer from the Rottenstein Law Group to see if you are eligible for compensation.