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Utilizing HITECH to Save Clients’ Money for Medical Records Retrieval

Article By Janet Horne in Helpful Articles

At Johnson Jensen, our mission is to look out for the best possible interests of each and every one of our clients. What you might not know is that many of the ways in which we strive to care for and serve our clients can get lost in the details—precisely because they are found there.

One great example can be found in our handling of a client’s medical records. As personal injury attorneys, we are constantly requesting medical records from medical providers all over the country. Each medical provider charges a certain amount for the records and then that charge becomes a case expense .

When we send traditional requests, medical providers charge copy rates established by the State of Indiana. Each provider could charge $20 for the first 10 pages, $0.50 for pages 11 through 50 and $0.25 per page thereafter. Frequently, medical providers charge $20 for a single page. Since almost all of our clients treat with several medical providers, those numbers add up quickly.

Fortunately, a federal law known as the HITECH—Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health—Act was passed, allowing a person to request their own medical records in an electronic format for the actual cost of the provider’s labor involved in fulfilling the request. This results in a huge savings for the client.

Take this recent scenario in which the staff at Johnson Jensen requested medical records for a client and the requested file consisted of over 2,400 pages. For that single medical provider, the total would have been over $700—an expense ultimately borne by the client. Obviously such expenses can add up quickly. Instead, the new federal legislation allowed Johnson Jensen to get the records for only $6.50 and much faster than traditional requests. If a client doesn’t have to pay the hospital $700 for the records, that’s $700 more the client recovers in a settlement or judgment.

While HITECH is a federal law, in order to take advantage of it, a firm like Johnson Jensen must overhaul their previous medical records request process, which is why many firms are still operating under traditional practices. Johnson Jensen has put forth this effort because we feel it’s in the best interest of our clients.

At Johnson Jensen, we are uniquely positioned with staff who demonstrate our commitment to saving clients’ money at every opportunity. When a client is seeking justice after enduring a very traumatic moment, our hope is that our conscientious approach can help ease the burden for each and every person we represent.

That level of care is in everything we do at Johnson Jensen—especially in the details.