Getting records and bills from medical providers is a lot harder than it should be. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has a new opinion that makes the collection of records even harder. Yes, thankfully, it is an unreported opinion. But it is still a message that health care providers can kick the can down the road on medical records requests with impunity.
The sad part is I agree with the opinion. It was the right call. For sure. But it is not helpful for medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers trying to collect medical records.
What Is the Maryland Record Collection Statute?
Besides begging and pleading, the only sword lawyers have in collecting medical records is § 4-309(a) of the Health-General Article of the Maryland Code. This statute requires health care providers to produce the records with a HIPAA authorization. This statute provides that: If a health care provider knowingly refuses to disclose a medical record within a reasonable time but no more than 21 working days after the date a person in interest requests the disclosure, the health care provider is liable for actual damages.