This is definitely one of those OMG moments. This is almost like being in the Navy for 20 years and just figuring out that the bow is the pointy part of the ship. I’ve had a few cases lately where doctors have been MIA for their patients that are applying for life insurance and the doctors have been asked to send records. And before you suddenly take the doctors side and wonder if this is why they’re always late to your appointment or they seem to raise rates a lot, behold the truth. The doctor likely never sees the request. His or Her office charge an unseemly amount of money to copy them and they would make you believe it just shuts the place down for them to accomplish it.
The process goes like this. We give an order to EIS, Express Imaging Services. They call the medical facility to determine how they want an order submitted, mail, fax, email, etc. Some doctor’s offices make it impossible for you to get through to a live person and they don’t offer this information in any of their 400 options. If you do happen on an option for medical records there is a better than 94% chance it will go to voice mail, and 100% chance the call won’t be returned. This part of the process should take two minutes and usually lasts two weeks. Finally a request is sent and EIS follows up to see that it was received. Again 94% and 100%. And then EIS is told that it takes two weeks to log in a request. So EIS follows up and after 94/100% they confirm the request is logged in but before they can process the request they need their own special authorization signed by the client. It takes us a day to get the authorization signed and returned and then EIS is informed that it takes 2-3 weeks to process the request, but before they can start they need to be paid. Maybe a better way to do all of this is to ask your doctor for a set of records because you want a copy to review for accuracy, then when the life insurance company wants it, bam, send it.
Once they have processed the records, most doctor’s offices call a copy service to come copy them. So, what is “processing”? As near as I can tell it is taking it off of a shelf and putting it in the to be copied pile. So another few weeks waiting for a copy service and then the records person will inform you that they don’t send records electronically, or quickly. They put them in the mail when they get to it. The insurance company finally receives the records and inevitably when the process turns into one of these behemoth undertakings, they will somehow not send complete records requiring a new request.
Bottom line. So, what is the secret about doctors and life insurance? You know, I forgot where I was going with that. But believe me it circles somewhere around them not caring if you ever get your life insurance approved and the fact that when they finally release the records they are likely full of errors they will have to explain. My suggestion. If your doctor is insufferably dragging out the attending physician statement process, call them and let them that no matter how they feel about insurance companies, it’s personally important to you to get this wrapped up. If they treat you like they treat EIS, let them know you’ve given a complete report on the process to your attorney so if you die before being approved he can go after the doctor for the applied for insurance amount. If you have questions, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.