Results 1 to 5 of 5

Release of billing records to law firm for work comp case

  1. Default Release of billing records to law firm for work comp case
    Medical Coding Books
    A law firm called me today asking me to fax a paitents billing records. I stated that I needed a supena or a release signed by the patient. She in turn said that since it is a work comp case, I don't need a release from the patient or a supena...

    Can someone more savy with HIPPA clear this up for me.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Salt Lake City
    That does not sound right to me at all, who is the attorney representing Workers comp or the patient? Either way I would think you need a release from the patient or the subpeona.
    Jenifer McPolin CPC, CPMA, RCC

  3. #3
    New Windsor, New York
    Default Not true - authorization is required
    I have heard this trick before where a lawyer's office will say that "workers comp records are not covered under HIPAA" so that an authorization or subpeona is not required. This is not the case for MEDICAL records. Because you are a Covered Entity (CE) under HIPAA you are obligated to follow the requirements. The information you have in the patient's record is certainly Protected Health Information (PHI) as as such, you have to treat it as such under HIPAA. The information being released to the attorney does not fall under treatment, payment (because the requestor is not the one who will reimburse you for the treatment) or operations. As such, then the information can only be released to them with a signed authorization by the patient or a subpeona. Another trick they do - if the subpoeana is not signed by a judge (some are only signed by attorneys) and is not accompanied by a signed authorization by the patient, it is not valid for release of PHI.

    Where "workers comp is not covered under HIPAA" DOES apply are records kept by state Workers Compensation boards, as they are not CE's and therefore HIPAA does not apply. There could be PHI in those records, so it is imperfect, but in your case, you are a CE and you are storing PHI, therefore you do need the authorization and/or subpeona.

    Hope this helps.


    Director, Health Information Management
    HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley
    Kingston, NY

  4. Default
    Amen! Lance is correct and gave awesome info that I plan to reference myself! Those Attorney's can be tricky!


  5. #5
    I do the medical records in my office, and we always, no matter what case it is with an attorney, request a medical release form for authorization from the patient to release records...and we don't fax medical records, because you never know who is on the other end.

Similar Threads

  1. Work Comp Nurse Case Manager Visit
    By ckkohler in forum Medical Coding General Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-24-2018, 05:50 AM
  2. Work Comp - Report / Case Mgr Codes
    By Desperate Denise in forum Orthopaedics
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-26-2010, 05:32 AM
  3. Does anyone work for a Worker Comp. firm?
    By amolson1325 in forum Employment General Discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-19-2008, 03:55 PM
  4. US Govt Work Comp/Case Mgr/code?-Anyone out there
    By ReeLani in forum Medical Coding General Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-14-2008, 03:57 PM
  5. US Govt Work Comp/Case Mgr/code?
    By ReeLani in forum E/M
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-09-2008, 09:57 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Enjoying Our Forums?

AAPC forums are a benefit of membership. Joining AAPC grants you unlimited access, allowing you to post questions and participate with our community of over 150,000 professionals.

Join Now Continue Reading Without Full Access

Already a Member?


Close Message

In addition to full participation on AAPC forums, as a member you will be able to:

  • Access to the largest healthcare job database in the world.
  • Join over 150,000 members of the healthcare network in the world.
  • Be a part of an industry leading organization that drives the business side of healthcare.
  • Save anywhere from 10%-50% with exclusive member discounts on courses, books, study materials, and conferences.
  • Access to discounts at hundreds of restaurants, travel destinations, retail stores, and service providers. AAPC members also have opportunities to save on heath, life, and liability insurance.
  • Become a member of a local chapter and attend regular meetings.