Medical privacy is an important issue for everyone, but railroad workers should pay special attention to their rights. Controlling who has access to your medical and mental health information is an important part of protecting yourself after you’ve been hurt—and you can take the first steps toward that goal by better understanding the medical release-of-information (ROI) forms.
What Is a Medical Release-of-Information Form?
An ROI form gives permission for the doctor to give your medical information to someone else. These forms generally:
- Must be signed to release your medical records to someone other than you. However, some patients don’t realize they’ve signed a release among all the other paperwork after an injury, and there are some situations where insurance companies or employers may be able to get information about a patient even if there isn’t a release on record.
- Ask you to specify what information will be released. When you sign an ROI for your medical records, you can specify how much information is released. This can be as general as “all lab results” or as specific as notes from a particular office visit.
- Often expire after a few months. ROI forms often include an expiration date, so check in with your doctor’s office every so often to make sure your medical information is being handled in the way you choose.
However, you should realize that medical releases don’t cover all your privacy bases after you’ve been hurt on the railroad, and you may need to take extra steps to protect yourself. Find out more by speaking directly with our law office at 877-724-7800, or start with a free copy of our book, The Insider's Guide to Winning Your Railroad Injury Case.