Doctor-to-Doctor Transfers & The Two-Year Rule
When completing an authorization form, you may notice when selecting "Transfer of Care" under the Purpose of Disclosure, there is a note that states that the last 2 years will be sent to your new physician at no charge. Naturally, some questions or confusion may come up when reading this, such as: "Why only 2 years of records? I need my records two years ago." or "So, if I need over two years of records, I'm going to be charged for them? That is preposterous!"
Well, never fear! We are here to explain exactly what the patient should expect.
Needing More Than Two Years of Records
MediCopy uses two years as a rule of thumb for sending records for transfer-of-care to a new physician because most doctors only need a limited record set for treating a patient. There will always be exceptions, which we will comply with, but two years of records are typically more than enough for the new physician to keep on file.
It is also important to note that the last two years of treatment are sent. So, if a patient was last seen in 2009, then treatment records for 2007 - 2009 would be pulled and sent. Furthermore, if the patient needs records prior to the two-year mark, a good practice would be to put a date range on the authorization form to specify that the requester needs a certain set of records, rather than everything in the patient's chart.
Will The Patient Be Charged If More Than Two Years Are Sent?
Definitely not. We are prohibited from billing patients for requesting records to be sent to another physician. So, if more than two years of records are needed, then we will absolutely comply with your request. We will never try to trick a patient into paying for any amount of records being sent to their new physician, no matter how many pages it may be or how many years it may cover.
The purpose of sending records to another physician is so the patient can receive proper care. One of the core values is to always treat the patient as #1 and we want to always comply with this. If the patient has a specific request for their records outside of the two-year scope, we will always work toward exactly what the patient needs.