The HITECH Act - Helping to Save Our Clients Money!
Editor's Note: A powerful medical records company, called Ciox, fought very hard during the Ciox v Azar case, to overturn the provisions of the HITECH Act, so that it could continue to charge astronomical fees to patients and their attorneys. This article is now out-of-date, and is kept only for archiving purposes
As a law firm, we subscribe to the highest level of ethics in representing our clients, that includes representing our clients zealously and responsibly. We do everything we can to 1) maximize our clients’ recovery and 2) minimize their costs and expenses. Some costs, for example, we cannot control because, for example, they are controlled by the Court via filing fees. Others, however, can be reduced significantly, such as the cost of obtaining medical records. We have worked very hard, and become very specialized at using a newer law to save our clients over $1,200.00 in the last 3 months alone!
Medical records are a vital portion of any client’s case - medical records are evidence, and they are proof to the defense that the client was injured, and to the extent claimed. As such, making sure that we have the complete records from all providers is essential. Many medical providers utilize medical records services to produce their records.
In the last decade, this has been a growth industry. The records companies have grown to huge proportions, and their costs have gone up as well - getting your records from the hospital could cost hundreds of dollars! Thankfully, however, technology has eased the burden that many clients labored under. A trend was noticed across the industry that the medical providers were all switching to computerized and/or digital note-taking and reporting systems. The records companies were charging ridiculous wages to “copy,” “paste,”, and “print.” As a result, they were making enormous profits at the expense of patients and their attorneys.
A federal law, however, has put an end to the dominance of the records services and their gouging of patients. This law is called the federal HITECH Act. The Act has implementing regulations, and has been treated in the Federal Register (see below for citations).
In a nutshell, the tenets of the new law are this: - a client may request records in digital format (and those records may be released to the client's lawyer) - the provider must respond within 30 days - the provider may charge a flat fee, but that may not exceed $6.50 - or, alternately, the provider may itemize for time spent in the production of the records (which is the time taken to copy, paste, and download them to a CD or online records portal)
What does all this mean for me as a client? - It means that we are doing everything in our power to reduce the costs to our clients. We know what we can get for free, and what we can for lower rates.
We are working very hard to continue to reduce clients’ expenses, and have had great success.
The new year holds great potential, and thus great savings, for our clients. The Alexandria Injury Attorney is committed to zealously representing all those who have been hurt as a result of the negligence of another. If you have been injured in a slip and fall or car accident, call our office right away for a free consultation.
Citations: Federal HITECH Act: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/17935
Code of Federal Regulations: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/45/164.524
Federal Register Publication: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2013-01-25/pdf/FR-2013-01-25.pdf