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releasing records question

  • 1.  releasing records question

    Posted 05-31-2018 15:46
    I am curious how others would handle this request.

    A patient wishes to start a malpractice action vs a surgeon in my community.  The patient has requested copies from me of all the surgeons communications with me as well as other consultants records who were involved..  I am comfortable that I am not a target of this action.     Nor is patient requesting my own notes.

    Question is - Am I allowed (or should I) release to a patient the notes / consults / records / op notes / etc that were sent to me on a routine basis by other MDs?   I dont recall seeing any notices from these doctors or the hospital, "prohibiting" my releasing their records to a third party.

    I do give patients copies of op notes, consults, path reports etc, when patient is being being referred by me to another doctor and I feel the information is important for the new doctor.

    If it matters, for a number of reasons, I am not sure this patient has a great case.

    Michael S. MD

  • 2.  RE: releasing records question

    Posted 06-03-2018 20:15
    Hi Mike,

    AFAIK, there's no reason you can't release any materials you have, and IIRC, you're not required to forward records someone else sent to you, but IANAL.
    Is there any reason you *wouldn't* want to forward what you have? IMO, they're entitled to it in any case...
    Just my $0.02

    Peter Liepmann MD FAAFP MBA
    My mission is to fix US health care
    Glendale CA

  • 3.  RE: releasing records question

    Posted 06-04-2018 20:36
    I recall at one time it was fairly common for records from consultants or hospitals, etc, to include a notice that they cannot be forwarded to a third party without the authors permission.   Frankly I have not seen that notice in a long time.

    I guess the other factors are 1) i dont think the patient has a very good case but is fishing informally for information.  2) I dont think patient has formally approached a lawyer since the request is not coming from an attorney.  3) Some  slight concern about undermining relations with specialists in community when I need them.

    I dont think any of these are great reasons not to release 3rd party information to patient.  I am putting this out there to get feedback about how others would handle this request and if I am missing anything in my thought process.

    Michael S. MD

  • 4.  RE: releasing records question

    Posted 06-05-2018 04:13
    My reflex response was that I would make a quick call to my malpractice carrier and ask whether they see any obvious/less obvious pitfalls to releasing.


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