Wiki Release of billing information


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I am in the middle of a discussion between one of my providers and her patient. The patient has been calling the provider to obtain a list of dates of service, amounts of copays and amounts paid by insurance. She claims she cannot get this information from her insurance company. She is also requesting notes from the provider who is a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I have provided the information from my end to the provider (I am a billing company) and the client keeps calling me with demands for more information. I've explained that I only do the billing and that I am not in any other way related to the provider, have no control over her office and have no access to files or other information other than related to billing. I'm beginning to feel nervous about this as I don't really know what the patient's motivation is. How much information do I need to release and do I need the provider's permission to do so? I have discussed this with the provider who keeps telling me that she is handling it. I want to make sure that I do the right thing. Any suggestions?
You're doing the correct thing by being cautious here - it would be much more serious to release too much information than not enough. Since your business relationship is with the provider, I would recommend you follow their directives on this. Unless your contract with the provider specifically includes an agreement to provide release-of-information services to their patients, I personally would stay out of this. The billing and treatment records belong to the provider and it's their responsibility to manage them appropriately and to create and follow a policy to determine what can be released to whom and under what circumstances.
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