Medical Records Release Form
By FindLaw Staff | Legally reviewed by Hal Armstrong, Esq | Last reviewed December 29, 2021
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Gathering the appropriate medical records is the key to putting together a solid medical malpractice case. The history of how you were treated, who treated you when, how your medical profile changed, and other factors will ultimately determine who (if anyone) is liable for any injuries you may have sustained. Your attorney will help you compile the necessary information to build a strong case, but it's always a good idea to be prepared before you step foot in your attorney's office.
Contact a medical malpractice attorney near you if you have specific questions about a malpractice claim or require legal assistance. Visit FindLaw's Medical Malpractice Legal Help section to learn more about working with an attorney.
HIPAA and the Privacy of Medical Records
To share your confidential medical information, you will be required to sign a medical records release form. Health care providers and insurers are required by law to keep your medical records and health information strictly confidential, with an emphasis on making sure personally identifiable data is protected. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), enacted in 1996, codified these requirements. The release form is essentially a waiver from liability under HIPAA.
Types of Medical Records
Even if your injury is physical in nature, your attorney also may ask for mental health records. You may have an additional claim for pain and suffering, or perhaps the medication you were taking for a mental illness interacted with another drug, causing your injury. It's best to err on the side of providing too much medical information. Other types of records that could be relevant to your case include prescription drug information, insurance information, medical invoices, and similar documentation.
In addition to medical records, your lawyer will ask for evidence of lost wages or any additional costs or hardship related to the injury. Some health insurance policies cover lost wages or profits (if you are a business owner), but your attorney will have to prove that any wage loss or time off was caused by the injury.
Sample Medical Release Form
In any event, your attorney will need you to sign a release form like the one below so that your medical providers are authorized to provide a copy of your records to your lawyer. See FindLaw's Medical Malpractice section for more articles and resources.
HIPAA Privacy Authorization Form
Patient's name _____________________________________________
Date of birth ____/____/____
Social Security Number ______-___-_______
Telephone number (____) ____-_______
At my request, I authorize the following healthcare provider to use and disclose the protected health information described below.
Name of provider __________________________________________Provider's address ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
[ATTORNEY'S NAME AND ADDRESS HERE]
This authorization for release of protected health information covers the following period, from:
____________________ to ____________________ .
Extent of Authorization:
Please release all my complete health record information, with the exception of the following:
Expiration of Authorization:
This authorization shall be effective until _________________ (date), after which this authorization expires.
I understand that I am permitted to revoke this authorization in writing at any time.
I HEREBY AUTHORIZE THE RELEASE OF MY MEDICAL RECORDS AS PROVIDED ABOVE.
Patient's Signature:___________________________________________ Date: _______________________
Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
A qualified medical malpractice lawyer will help you amass all the necessary documentation for a successful case. Finding the right attorney can mean the difference between receiving compensation and walking away empty-handed. A good first step is to get a claim evaluation from a medical malpractice attorney.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified medical malpractice attorney to make sure your rights are protected.