Widow Accuses Hospital Of Withholding Husband’s Medical Records
A widow is accusing the hospital where her husband died of intentionally withholding his medical records to prevent her from filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against them. Now, she’s filed a second lawsuit, this one against the hospital as well as the company that handles its medical records requests, Ciox Health, to gain access to the medical records.
Unpacking the Problem
The widow, through her attorney, sent out a request for medical records related to the medical malpractice lawsuit she had intended to file. However, these requests went unanswered and the deadline to file the lawsuit was quickly approaching. If the widow missed this deadline, she may not be able to file the lawsuit in her home state of New York as the statute of limitations would have run out.
Analyzing the Medical Issues
The widow says that her husband, who died of lung cancer, had evidence of cancer in a lung X-ray taken many months prior to his death. However, the radiologist who reviewed the X-ray missed any signs of the cancer, thereby costing her husband valuable treatment time. She says that, in the end, her husband may have survived if the cancer had been caught in time. By the time the mass was caught, it was a year later and it had grown to two inches in diameter.
Analyzing the Records Request Lawsuit
Completely separate from the question of medical malpractice is the requirement for a hospital to turn over medical records of patients. The attorney who is representing the widow in her medical malpractice lawsuit is also organizing a class-action regarding the medical records dispute. The attorney says that he has over a dozen clients who tried and failed to get their medical records from the same hospital.
The Legal Issues
Hospitals are required to turn over medical records on request. The HITECH Act of 2009 gives the widow the right to her husband’s medical records. No more than $6.50 can be charged for the entire transaction. The company in charge of the medical records, however, says that it can only give her paper records, and they “must” charge 75 cents per page.
Ciox Health, is the target of litigation in several states. Plaintiffs claim that the company has made it needlessly difficult to obtain medical records, and charged a premium when they finally did satisfy the request.
The HITECH Act of 2009 was initiated in response to the economic recession of those years. One of the key provisions was to modernize technology including getting rid of paper medical records and making it easier for hospitals to transfer records digitally.
Talk to a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a negligent medical doctor, call the Tampa medical malpractice attorneys at Palmer | Lopez today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you recover damages related to your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life.