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Thread: Releasing Psychiatric Records

  1. #1

    Red face Releasing Psychiatric Records

    AAPC: Back to School
    We have a patient who we've seen only once. We received an unsolicited medical record from a psychologist or psychiatrist for the patient. The patient is not scheduled to return to us. The patient is seeking disability and the social security administration required her to go for a psychiatric evaluation. She requested the records and was told by the psychiatric office that they were unable to release directly to her because she did not pay for the service and the social security office did. However, the patient informed me that the psyciatry office told her that if she signed a release to forward the record to her doctor, we should be able to release.

    She came in yesterday requesting her record. I simply told her that I was unable to release the record until verifying with SSA that I am able to release the record. I have not been able to get through to SSA, and today is a holiday. Has anyone ever gone through a similar scenario and care to offer any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milwaukee WI

    Default This is the PATIENT's own medical record

    This is the patient's own medical record. There is no reason to withhold it from him/her.
    I believe the psychiatrist's office was wrong ... they should have released to her when she asked.
    If her private insurance had paid for the service would they also not release the record to her?
    Perhaps there are specific laws governing psychiatric records in your state, but I can't imagine that a patient's OWN records would be withheld from him/her.

    Hope that helps

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC
    Last edited by FTessaBartels; 11-12-2010 at 09:44 AM.

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