How to Avoid Being a Victim of the UPMC Highmark Dispute

What to do when you are changing doctors or providers

The number one cause of medical malpractice resulting in a serious preventable injury is lack of communication between health care providers. Whether it is the fact that the medical specialists don’t talk to each other or the lab results or x-rays results are lost or misfiled, if you are the patient and a victim of medical malpractice due to a preventable injury- it really doesn’t matter why they did not communicate. What matters now is that you do what you can to prevent failures in communication when you no longer can see your UPMC doctor. What can you do?

1. Make an appointment with your UPMC doctor that will soon be your former doctor and ask the doctor what his/her plans were for your future care. Write down what you are told by your doctor so that you can discuss the information with your new doctor;

2. Get a copy of your medical records from your doctor’s office;

3. If you were in the hospital in the last ten years get a copy of your admission history and physical and your discharge summary;

4. If you saw a specialist when you were in the hospital, get a copy of the specialists’ consultation report;

5. If you had surgery when you were in the hospital get a copy of the operative report;

6. If you have a condition that requires frequent radiographic studies and the doctors are following a problem, get a copy of your radiographic studies on CD. Examples of common radiographic studies that are used to follow a problem are: Chest X-Rays, Mammograms and Ultrasounds.

No matter who your UPMC doctor is, after you are no longer with an insurance company that UPMC accepts – Highmark – your doctor will surely be less available to you in 2015 and likely will not be available at all to talk to you or offer you medical advice.

How do you request your medical records? Use this Authorization for Release of Health Information for the following UPMC Hospitals: Presbyterian/Montefiore, Shadyside, Passavant (McCandless), Magee-Women’s, St. Margaret, Passavant (Cranberry), Mercy, East, UPMC Rehabilitation Hospital/ UPMC South Side, Northwest, Horizon, Braddock and McKeesport. Simply fill out the form and mail it to the address listed on page 2 of the Authorization. You are entitled to receive your records in electronic format at a reduced fee or no cost. When you are requesting your records, specify that you are making a request for the records to be sent in electronic format on CD as provided for in the HITECH Act. The HITECH Act allows patients to have access to their records for a fee equal to the labor cost that can be charged for an electronic request. The policy typically is to charge a base rate per CD and 7 cents per page.

To obtain your medical records from UPMC Bedford Memorial, use the following Authorization for Release of Health Information and mail the request to:

UPMC Bedford MemorialHealth Information Management Department
10455 Lincoln Highway
Everett, PA 15537

To obtain your medical records from UPMC Hamot, use the following Authorization to Disclose Health Information Hamot and mail the request to:

Health Information Management Department
UPMC Hamot
201 State Street
Erie, PA 16550

To obtain your child(s) medical records from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, please use the following form: Release of Protected Health Information – Children’s. This request can be sent to any of the following:

Fax: 412-692-6068

E-mail: RecordRelease@chp.edu

Mail:
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Health Information Management Department
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224-1334

To obtain psychiatric records from Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, you can use the following Authorization for Protected Health Information and mail the request to:

Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
Health Information Management Department
Suite A-34
3811 O’Hara Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

If you are ordering records from a specific doctor, you will need to contact that doctor’s office. The doctor’s office will supply you with an authorization and provide you with the steps to follow in order to obtain your records. You can even ask for the authorization or make the request for your records, after your next visit.

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