Processing a Request for Release of Information You are the ROI coordinator. During the day you face a variety of ROI situations. How should you handle the situations described next and what, if any, additional information will you need before you can make your decision? If you will need to provide copies of the health record, explain which forms (information) you would provide. Include dates if appropriate.
1. A patient just called. The patient has an appointment at her physician’s office in one hour and wants copies of her health record to take to the office. The department has a policy that requires a 48-hour notice except in medical emergencies. The patient did not specify what health records she needs.
2. A patient has complained that he had requested that his health records be sent to the state department of disability three times and that the department says that it has still not received them. Your records show that they have been sent twice. The patient is very upset as his request for a copy of his health record cannot be processed without these health records.
3. A Homeland Security agent shows up and flashes a badge at you. He demands that you release a patient’s health record to him immediately as it is a matter of national security.
4. Dr. Lawrence calls and requests a copy of the health record on Stephanie Smith. The records show that Dr. Jones was the patient’s physician. Dr. Jones and Dr. Lawrence are not partners.
5. You receive a subpoena requesting your presence in court. You do not want to appear, so you talk to the court clerk. The subpoena specifies all charts for a patient for the period of June 2015 to January 2017. The hospital has records for the period of April 1999 to the present
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As an ROI coordinator, it is important to follow proper protocols and guidelines when processing requests for release of information. Each situation requires a unique approach, and it is necessary to collect any additional information needed before making a decision. Providing the appropriate forms and information is necessary to ensure a timely and efficient process.
1. For the patient who has an appointment in an hour and wants copies of their health record, it is important to politely inform them of the 48-hour notice policy. However, if it is an emergency, the records can be released immediately. The coordinator should ask the patient which specific health records they need to ensure that only relevant information is provided. The necessary form to provide would be a standard authorization form.
2. When a patient complains about records not being received, it is important to first check the records and ensure that they have been sent out properly. If the records have been sent out, the coordinator should provide the patient with the tracking number for each time the records were sent. The necessary forms to provide would be proof of delivery documents.
3. When a Homeland Security agent demands the release of a patient’s health records, the coordinator should ask for the agent’s name and badge number, as well as a written request specifying the reason for the requested records. The coordinator should inform the agent that medical records are protected by HIPAA and cannot be released without proper documentation. The necessary form to provide would be a subpoena or court order.
4. When Dr. Lawrence requests a copy of a patient’s health record, it is important to verify the requestor’s information and credentials. The coordinator should inform Dr. Lawrence that they will need a written request, signed by the patient, authorizing the release of the records. The necessary form to provide would be a standard authorization form.
5. When receiving a subpoena requesting records, it is important to gather all relevant records for the specified time period. The coordinator should provide the necessary records in a timely manner, ensuring compliance with the subpoena. The necessary form to provide would be the records requested in the subpoena.