Author Topic: Anyone here ever sign a medical release after a car accident?  (Read 2078 times)

naturelover

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A couple weeks ago, I was involved in a single-car accident (spouse was driving) where the car was totaled and we were only minorly injured. I went to the doctor for neck pain and was diagnosed with whiplash and am now almost fully recovered. I reported the injury to our insurance, and they sent me a voluntary form to complete titled Authorization to Disclose Health Information and Other Records. It's looking like the only bill I will have is the one office visit (will probably be about $100 - I'm on a HDHP) and am wondering if it's worth giving them access to my medical records. The fact that the form is voluntary leads me to believe that perhaps they are asking for more info than they really need. I don't have anything in my medical history that I wouldn't want them to see. It just feels invasive. The only reason I reported the injury in the first place is because I've read that it's good to establish that you've been seen by a doctor in case something would develop later on as a result of the accident.

What have any of you done or what would you do?

Paul der Krake

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Re: Anyone here ever sign a medical release after a car accident?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2016, 06:30:48 AM »
I did, without questioning whether I could get out of it or not. I assumed it was standard procedure.

naturelover

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Re: Anyone here ever sign a medical release after a car accident?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2016, 07:25:01 AM »
I did, without questioning whether I could get out of it or not. I assumed it was standard procedure.

Depending on when that was, maybe it's something HIPAA changed. I have seen recommendations online by attorneys who say to never sign these forms, but of course they want you to hire them for guidance. I also suspect that the recommendation to not sign is largely pertinent when a person is bringing a personal injury claim against another party. There are no other parties involved in my situation.

rockstache

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Re: Anyone here ever sign a medical release after a car accident?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2016, 07:57:08 AM »
I received that and refused to sign it. Judging by how the insurance representative called me back in a bullying tone, and threatened that it would make everything way more complicated, and I would have to send each document over manually, and why didn't I just sign the form and be done with it - it was the right move. I never had any issue with my claim. I just wasn't going to give them full access to all my records.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Anyone here ever sign a medical release after a car accident?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2016, 08:11:35 AM »
I did, without questioning whether I could get out of it or not. I assumed it was standard procedure.

Depending on when that was, maybe it's something HIPAA changed. I have seen recommendations online by attorneys who say to never sign these forms, but of course they want you to hire them for guidance. I also suspect that the recommendation to not sign is largely pertinent when a person is bringing a personal injury claim against another party. There are no other parties involved in my situation.
That makes sense. My crash was 6 months ago and I was bringing a medical claim against the at fault driver, but:

1) My claim was minor (just reimburse me the couple hundred bucks it took for the orthopaedics clinic to check me out)
2) My US health records are nearly blank, good luck trying to imply that an ear infection from 2 years ago contributed to the crash.

They paid with no fuss and were very fair in all aspects of the claim (medical & property).

Nick_Miller

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Re: Anyone here ever sign a medical release after a car accident?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2016, 01:08:28 PM »
I'm a personal injury attorney.

PIP/No-fault laws vary by state, but in my state, for example, a person who was injured in a car accident and suffered injuries would have his/her medical bills and records reviewed by a PIP/No-fault adjuster to determine if they are related, reasonable, etc. Obviously the insurance company needs to be able to review the actual records if they are being asked to pay the bills.

Most providers will include forms in your sign-up pack that gives them permission to send your bills/records directly to the insurance company, so the injured person doesn't have to get involved in that process.

That being said, PIP carriers can also be shady and try to get unrepresented people to sign blanket HIPAA releases and go "fishing" in prior meds, looking for a reason to deny payment. If I were counseling a friend or family member, and that person absolutely did NOT want to pursue a BI settlement, I'd want to them to at least sign only a LIMITED release specifying the provider (the provider who provided the accident-related treatment).