I seldom have a week go by where no clients get surprised by what is in their medical records. I’ve said it before and you know me, I’ll keep repeating it. Medical records are a collection of facts (lab and test results) and rambling thoughts transcribed from the terrible handwriting of an overworked doctor who really doesn’t feel like they are making money when they are updating records.
How can I put this gently? If your medical records don’t have any mistakes in them, it’s only because you have actively monitored what goes in. If you have never reviewed your medical records there is about 110% chance that it contains mistakes, inaccuracies, and occasionally pages from someone else’s records.
I know that there has to be a level of trust between a patient and a doctor and some doctors deserve that trust when it comes to medical care. I think most doctors drop the ball when it comes to educating their patients on medical issues, but these guys are overworked and there are only so many hours in the day. How overworked. Reader’s Digest recently interviewed a few dozen doctors and wrote an article containing their random thoughts on several issues. A lot of these doctors are simply sick and tired of whiny patients and the state of their records probably reflects that.
The reason this is a life insurance issue is that underwriters use medical records to determine how much a person is going to pay for life insurance, and often whether they will get insurance at all. Underwriters have to assume that what you have told them is a layman’s opinion and what is contained in your records is medical fact. So, when you lay out your best recollection of your medical history for an agent and that goes on the application, it is at some point verified or trumped by the information in your medical records. If the information doesn’t match, you lose.
Bottom line. Get a copy of your medical records. Yes, all of them. Bring up any error or discrepancies to the doctor and insist that they be corrected or that your assertion that there is erroneous information in your records be added. After everything is cleaned up, insist that a copy of notes from any visit are proofread by you before they are entered.
What a great service. Anyone could benefit from this and especially anyone who travels much.
I had a client after Katrina that it took nearly a year to get an approval on because the records were lost and not backed up anywhere. Medefile could have been a great answer for that client.
My name is Kevin Hauser and I am the Director of New Business Development for MedeFile International. I had come across your blog in doing some research. I could not agree with you more. A recent article in the NYT i beleive stated the importance of this as well. MedeFile can help.
In brief, MedeFile is an electronic medical records management service that collects, digitizes, stores, and organizes all of our member’s ACTUAL medical records. MedeFile gives you the member, the ability to access your complete medical history 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from virtually anywhere in the world. In addition, we provide each BASIC and Premium MedeFile member with a MedeDrive. The MedeDrive is a portable USB device that works with any Windows based PC. This device simply plugs in to a USB port and instantly auto loads that member’s vital emergency information (Allergies, Medications, Medical Alerts, Emergency Contacts, etc). The MedeDrive also has a password protected area that contains all of that member’s ACTUAL medical records as well. The MedeDrive does NOT require any internet connection in order to view its contents and can be updated anytime with no additional charges.
Our system also provides for the storage of Vital Documents. These may include your Advanced Directives (Living Wills, DNR’s, Health Care Proxies), as well as other important documents. MedeFile has been featured on various news segments with regard to the devastating Hurricanes we have seen in the recent years. MedeFile may also qualify as a medical expense under a Medical Information Plan in IRS Publication 502.
It is important to note that MedeFile does the work for its members. We contact the providers and collect the records on their behalf. I urge you to visit our website at http://www.medefile.com for more information. Please feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have. Thank you in advance.