MRA Thought of the Day–Difficult ROI Scenario: Releasing Records of Deceased

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Nilda Tamburello RHIA, Vice President of Release Of Information

Nilda Tamburello RHIA, Vice President of Release Of Information

A daughter requests her deceased mother’s medical records. The deceased’s husband, not daughter, is listed in the record as next of kin. The daughter claims that her father (the deceased’s husband) is also when will viagra be generic dead. The daughter is asking for a copy of her mother’s medical records so she can give them to her own physician—in order to clarify family history. The daughter’s physician is not a member of the medical staff where the record resides.

Here are my thoughts…

  • The daughter needs to provide proof of executor or administrator of her mother’s estate. With the proof of executorship papers she may have access to, and authorize release of, her deceased mother’s medical records, upon delivery of a written authorization.
  • You must be very careful handling types of situations like this because there is no proof that the father is deceased or that the daughter is the only sibling.
  • It is also good practice to review the record to see if the daughter is mentioned somewhere in the discharge summary, nurses notes, social service notes etc.

Be very cautious when handling a deceased patient’s medical record. Never assume that everything is on the “up and up”. There may be other siblings involved who have the very same right in obtaining these records. There may be a lawsuit going on that we are not aware of…and remember to keep a copy of the executor papers in the record!

What are your thoughts?

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