Transcript of "Medical records and their legal implications"
Medical Records and Their Legal
Medical records are sensitive and revealing documents. Both
sides involved in a case would want them to remain
confidential throughout the medical record review process.
Medical records are sensitive documents that can be really
revealing and this is exactly why many people would rather
keep them under lock and key. Quite recently, U.S billionaire
George Soros’ lawyers requested a judge to keep his medical
records, depositions and other “confidential” material sealed,
in view of his legal battle with his ex-girlfriend.
According to the billionaire’s lawyer, this request is made
considering the fact that the nature of the claims involve details
of both parties’ personal lives and both seek medical
information among other specifics. Information disseminated
may lead to embarrassment and annoyance for both sides
involved and may also prejudice their business interests. The
83-year-old business magnate is scared that Adriana Ferreyr,
his 30-year-old ex-girlfriend would reveal to the press sensitive
information about his health, wealth and wife. Soros is being
sued for $50 million by his girlfriend and the reason – for
giving the $2 million apartment he had promised her to his
wife Tomiko Bolton.
In legal terminology, Soros had committed an “intentional
infliction of emotional distress.” Ms. Ferreyr got really violent
during deposition and struck Soros in the head; she was
prevented from striking a second blow by Soros’ lawyer,
according to Manhattan Supreme Court papers. She also
attacked the billionaire’s lawyer and an aide.
In any legal battle, medical records are the prime proof of an
injury and specific medical conditions. As such, both sides
involved in a case would want these sensitive documents to
remain confidential and not fall into the wrong hands and
cause harm. Other scenarios where the medical records of an
individual become important are when a physician is facing a
malpractice charge and when a payer is determining the
legitimacy of a medical claim. Reviewing the patient’s medical
records is what experienced attorneys would do before
committing to litigation. Usually, the medical documents are
sent to an expert such as a medical record review company for
comprehensive review or analysis. In a malpractice case,
medical record review would reveal whether the provider or
his team deviated from the standard of care. In a medical claim
submitted for reimbursement, a detailed review of the patient’s
medical records would show whether the services provided
were medically necessary.
Medical Records in the Discovery Process
The discovery process before trial is the occasion when
attorneys of both sides gain access to the evidence available
and witnesses. Attorneys of both the plaintiff and the defendant
would request for the medical records that may be used in
court as evidence. Once the medical records are obtained, the
review process begins to understand all angles of the case.
• Reviewing involves organization and analysis of the
medical records, extraction of vital and relevant data, and
summarization of the medical data.
• Expert medical record reviewers would provide insightful
review that will assist counsel to decide whether to settle,
arbitrate/mediate or try cases.
• For a seasoned medical review company, medical record
volume and complexity is not a major concern because it
will have the expertise and staff strength to handle even
the most challenging projects.
• Medical record review and analysis will be provided for
any kind of litigation including:
o Medical malpractice
o Personal injury/healthcare
o Nursing home/long term care
o Toxic tort
o Medical device
o Product liability
What is it that an expert medical review company can
accomplish that may prove highly challenging to an attorney’s
o State-of-the-art medical records indexing, categorizing
and organizing services.
o Accurate and speedy review process facilitated by the
presence of trained and experienced medical as well as
non-medical as well as legal review professionals.
o They are trained to review the medical records to easily
spot confounding variables and alternative causation, to
detect tampering in the medical documents, identify
missing records, make sense of illegible documents, and
record additional providers of care.
o They are dedicated to providing superior quality service
in the best interests of the client.
EMRs in Litigation
With the advent of electronic medical records, significant
changes are being created regarding what and how information
will be considered evidence in litigation. In the current state of
transition from paper to electronic medical records, medical
and legal professionals must be aware of the changes to
HIPAA, the DHHS Privacy Rule and Security Rule, the
HITECH Act and the potential of computer forensics if they
are to competently deal with EMR as evidence.
Posted by MOS Medical Record Review Company