Saturday, August 31, 2013

Request your medical records at least annually, while they are free

Request your medical records at least annually, while they are free (by law the first copy is free if requested within a calendar year, I think). 

If you've been tracking them with your PHR, this should actually be a piece of cake.  At a set point every year, you can look through your list of visits and know exactly who you saw and when and what kinds of records you need to request from which group and which records you already requested (if any).  You can create a form letter and then fill in all the information clearly and in an organized fashion.  The records retrieval people will love you and maybe even be nice to you and not need to be called 6 times for follow up.  They will especially love you for not needing this done ASAP right now or you will be in a bad place because that is when people usually contact them, needing it done next week when their standard response time is 8 weeks or whatever. 

Make sure you know each organization's standard response time, so you don't panic and start calling to follow up prematurely.  You could record this information on the provider page or your PHR!

Once you have your last year's records, scan those suckers into your electronic file, so you can print out the pages you need when you need them.  Then pat yourself on the back for having it together.

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