One of the most common questions that a New York medical malpractice victim will ask is whether he or she has to disclose his or her medical records to the other party. This is a normal question to ask, because many people know about HIPAA and assume it always protects their medical records from disclosure. But in a medical malpractice case, the victim is waiving his or her protections. This is because a medical malpractice case, like all personal injury matters, places a victim’s body and health on trial and in question, which waives the protections of HIPAA in most instances.
Knowing this, most victims of medical malpractice understand that the other party—the negligent healthcare providers such as the doctors, hospital, and other entries—are entitled to your medical records. This means they can result them and review them, as long as they are relevant to your injuries or your health which has been placed at issue in your lawsuit.
But can the other party actually TALK to your medical providers about your health and their treatment?
Believe it or not, the answer is YES. This comes from the Court of Appeals case called Arons v Jutkowitz. This allows the other party to privately talk to your health care providers about the medical malpractice you are alleging against the defendant. This includes talking about your health, how you have recovered, problems since the malpractice, and other related questions.
This seems VERY invasive that the other party can talk to your healthcare providers about your healthcare, your health, and your personal well-being without you being present. And it ABSOLUTELY IS INVASIVE. But this is the state of the law, and the point is to help facilitate settlement discussions. These settlement discussions are necessary to help get your cases to settled and resolve.
This also stresses the importance of having a good medical malpractice attorney to ensure that your rights are not be violated. The fact that the defendants can speak with your treating physicians is a pretty serious aspect of a medical malpractice case. You need to have a good attorney to protect your rights and sure that they are not being taken advantage of.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.