Medical Record Requests and Electronic Signatures: Useful Tips

Created 04/06/2020 at 07:31 PM


Healthcare providers are often slow to accept new technology, particularly when they need to balance security and privacy of the patient records, so many are reluctant to accept electronic signatures. We will provide some tips on things you can do to minimize the chances of your request being rejected by a provider.

Understanding the Process

It’s important to understand the process most healthcare providers follow. When a healthcare provider receives a request for medical records, they validate at least two unique identifiers against the chart and the third being the patient signature. They look for a somewhat similar signature to what is on file or at a the minimum, what is on the photo ID. Knowing this, we can do a few things to ensure that they will not reject your request.

Make the Electronic Signature Similar to their Prior Signatures or Photo ID

Knowing that providers need to verify the signature matches, you’ll have the most success with a signature that looks similar to what they signed their most recent hospital paperwork with or with what is on their photo ID. Avoid just typing a name in as you will meet a lot of resistance.

Include a Copy of The Patient’s Photo ID

This is a proactive step and reduces the likelihood of getting a denial letter. It will also make the facility feel like they are more likely interacting with the appropriate authorized party.

Suggest Verbal Confirmation

If the provider is uncomfortable, suggest that they contact the patient off of their demographics to verbally confirm you are representing the patient and that they signed that authorization.

More Information

HHS has suggested that if the signature conforms to the ESIGN act then it can be used but ultimately it is up to the provider if they want to be more stringent. If you run into trouble, you can forward a copy of this letter from the HHS to the healthcare provider:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jU1lPwn3kiceVaqxW3WJHRj6l1wIUCT5/view?usp=sharing

This article also has some good tips: click here.

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