Keeping track of your medical documents after your work injury is a very important step to getting all of your benefits.
If you have suffered a work injury, your next step will likely be hiring a St. Louis work injury lawyer and pursuing compensation. A portion of the final total of benefits is the medical costs you amassed throughout your treatment, but your employer won’t take you at your word if you do not have the bills to back it up. Additionally, getting a doctor’s assessment in writing is very important.
However, an issue that injured workers frequently run into is losing track of these documents and suffering a variety of consequences as a result. There are a number of easy ways to keep track of your records.
Request Documents Right Away
You don’t want to get into a situation where you’re trying to track down medical documents weeks or months after they were produced. Failing to get them immediately may lead to not having the right documents when they are needed. The better strategy is to request the documents you need right away and put the full responsibility of keeping them on yourself.
Scan Them Onto a Computer
Next, you’ll want to scan them onto a computer. There are a variety of ways to do so, including scanners and applications for smartphones. The reason why this strategy is smarter than keeping only hard copies is that putting them on a computer adds another level of security. Once that document is a file, there is less of a chance that you lose it and no chance that its quality fades away over time.
Keep the Hard Copies Too
Lastly, keep the hard copies of your documents, too. As secure as cloud services are, there is always a chance that something goes wrong. Your file could suddenly become corrupted or disappear before your eyes. In these rare cases, having a hard copy is essential.
Injured workers almost exclusively go to company doctors rather than independent providers. While this policy generally makes billing easier, any St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer will tell you that you’ll still want to collect all of your medical documents. You may also see a third-party doctor at some point, in which case you need to keep track of those files. No matter what your situation looks like, following best practices is always a good idea. Keeping track of your medical documents is a crucial part of doing so.
The Importance of Checking the Accuracy of Your Medical Records
You’ve probably been to the doctor’s office or a hospital and had to fill out a medical history form. This usually includes questions about your current and past health conditions, medications, allergies, and surgeries. The doctor or hospital uses the information you provide on these forms to ensure they provide the best possible care for you.
But did you know that this information is also used for something else? Your medical history is used to code your diagnosis and treatments in a way that allows your insurance company to process your claims. And if there are any errors in these codes, it could mean delays or denials in getting the coverage you need. That’s why it’s important to ensure that the information in your medical records is accurate.
So, how can inaccuracies impact your care, and how can you ensure your medical records are accurate?
Why Is It Important to Have Accurate Medical Records?
There are a few reasons why it’s crucial to have accurate medical records:
It Helps Your Doctors Provide the Best Possible Care for You
When your doctors have up-to-date and accurate information about your health, they can make better decisions about your care. For example, if you have a history of heart disease, your doctor will want to be aware of this so they can monitor you closely and ensure you’re taking the necessary precautions.
It Protects You from Getting Duplicate Tests or Procedures
If your medical records are accurate, your doctor will know what tests or procedures you’ve already had. This can save you time, money, and needless worry.
It Avoids Billing Mistakes
If there are errors in your medical records, it could lead to billing mistakes. For example, if a procedure is coded incorrectly, your insurance company may not cover it. Or, you could be billed for a test you already had.
How Can You Make Sure Your Medical Records Are Accurate?
There are a few things you can do to make sure your medical records are as accurate as possible:
Review Your Records Regularly. You should review your medical records at least once a year to ensure the information is up-to-date. You can request a copy of your records from your doctor or hospital.
Report Any Inaccuracies. If you find any errors in your medical records, report them to your doctor or hospital immediately. Do it in writing so you have a record of your request. At the same time, ask that the inaccurate information be corrected.
Keep Your Own Records. In addition to reviewing the medical records kept by your doctor or hospital, you should also keep your own records. This could include a list of medications you’re taking and copies of test results, biopsy reports, and X-rays.
The bottom line is this: accuracy is key when it comes to your medical records. By taking the time to review and update your records, you can be sure you’re getting the best possible care.
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