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MEDICAL RECORDS AND RIGHT TO PRIVACY- Maryland Workers Compensation Attorney

Maryland Workers Compensation Cases & The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 

Maryland Workers Compensation Laws require the disclosure of some of the injured workers medical records.  There are limitations as to what workers comp can seek and request.  Also, HIPAA provides a right to privacy for patients regarding any individually identifiable health information.

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Is the injured worker required to release medical information in a Maryland workers compensation claim or does this violate right to privacy?

It is important to know that in any Maryland workers compensation case an authorization for medical records must be signed by the injured worker.  The release will allow the workers compensation insurer access to medical records pertaining to treatment related to the work injury.  If an injured worker is not willing to sign the medical authorization then the case will be practically be a loss and the injured worker will not receive workers compensation benefits.  For those wondering why they must release their private medical information to worker compensation the simple explanation is that the workers comp insurer has the right to know what they must pay for and are not expected to make medical bill payments without out some explanation.

Often the release of medical information to anyone outside of one’s immediate family or circle of friends may cause some stress or the feeling that privacy rights are being violated.  For the injured worker these same feelings can be even more difficult to deal with while already going through a difficult time navigating the confusing workers compensation process.  However, the injured worker is provided some relief as Maryland workers compensation laws do provide some limitations on the release of medical information of the injured worker.

For a no cost consultation with Maryland Injury Attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh call  +1 (410) 937-1659, Email ,  or fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

 

What medical information is protected under Maryland workers compensation laws and does the injured worker have any right to privacy?

While Maryland law does require injured workers to release medical information to the workers comp insurer, the release is not limitless and does maintain some protection of privacy for the injured.  The workers compensation medical record release does limit the information that is available to the workers comp insurer to relevant information such as:

  • records consisting of only the member of the body that was injured as indicated in the claim form,
  • records consisting of the description of how the accident occurred, or
  • records consisting of the description of how the occupational disease occurred.

Essentially, what this means for the injured worker is medical records pertaining irrelevant treatment such as an office visit for the flu, mental health appointments as long as the work injury is not of a psychological nature, or any form of treatment that does not have to do with the injured body part should continue to be private and not released to workers comp.  Just as particular medical information remains protected under Maryland workers comp laws, the medical authorization limits who is able to receive health information.

The labor and employment article provides those who are able to receive protected health information through the use of the Authorization for Disclosure of Health Information.  Subsection (D.) limits recipients to the injured workers lawyer, the employer, and the workers compensation insurer.  Unless there is an additional medical authorization signed the medical information released will be limited to these recipients.

The parties involved in a workers comp claim and the medical providers must also be cognizant of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) when dealing with the disclosure of health information.

Maryland workers compensation medical records release

Maryland Workers Compensation Medical Authorization for Disclosure of Health Information. Maryland workers compensation laws require the injured worker to sign a medical authorization when filing a workers comp claim with the state.

What privacy protections does HIPAA provide to workers compensation claimants?

The HIPAA statute in large part defers to state law in determining what information is protected under any given workers compensation case.  The injured worker does not have to sign a HIPAA release for health information to be released however state law would still require a Workers Comp medical release to be signed.  Under Federal Law the entities such as employers, agents, medical providers, hospitals, administrations,  and workers comp insurers are required, within reason, to limit the amount of health information released to the minimum necessary to accomplish the purpose.  In other words the Employer and the workers comp Insurer must limit the release of medical information to as little as possible while still getting the job done.

Maryland workers compensation objection to subpoena of medical records

A qualified Maryland workers compensation attorney will object to subpoena’s seek protected medical information of the injured worker. The right to privacy is important to many!

Unfortunately, in Maryland it seems that often the sought after medical information is much more than what can be conceived as the minimal necessary to accomplish the purpose.  Protected health information obtained by the use of overreaching subpoena’s does occur and practicing Maryland workers compensation attorney’s should be cognizant of the same.  If a workers compensation subpoena for medical records is issued which over reaches and discards the injured Maryland workers rights to privacy a qualified and experienced attorney is able to object to the subpoena and seek out a hearing at the workers compensation commission to prevent the disclosure of unauthorized medical records.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maryland Workers Compensation Attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh has repeatedly helped the injured worker protect their right to privacy while involved in a workers compensation claim.

In one example Mr. Rodabaugh represented a worker who injured his neck and back while on the job.  The case had been referred to a defense attorney for the workers compensation insurer.  The defense attorney sent out a number of medical subpoena’s to various medical providers and entities.  The subpoena’s issues requested the release of “any and all” medical records for the injured worker.  Had said medical records been released the injured workers complete health status would have been revealed to not only the defense attorney, but his staff, the workers compensation adjuster, possibly the employer, and multiple other parties.  Mr. Rodabaugh was able to timely object to the subpoena’s and the defense attorney adjusted his request to “relevant information pertaining to the date of accident of 0x/0x/2015.” 

 

I endorse Mr. Rodabaugh.  He is a true asset to our legal community.  Very helpful on Avvo and a great e [sic] in the field.
Mark C.Immigration Attorney

For a no cost consultation with Harford County Maryland workers compensation Attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh call  +1 (410) 937-1659 , Email ,  or fill out the form below:

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