Medical Attorney: Don't Sign Every Piece of Medical Paperwork

Updated: 07/05/2014 2:24 PM
Created: 07/02/2014 6:08 PM
By: Jay Kolls

The former lead attorney for the Minnesota Hospital Association has a cautionary tale for people visiting their medical providers. 

Dave Feinwachs recently visited United Hospital in St. Paul, for a medical procedure. He says he was asked to sign a release form, allowing the hospital to give his medical records to his insurance company. Feinwachs says that part of the form is fine, but the rest of it he says is not allowed under the law.

Feinwachs says the remainder of the release form asked permission to release personal information to third parties.

"These parties do not have anything to do with your medical care", Feinwachs says.

Feinwachs says you have every right to tell the medical provider that you do not want to consent to dissemination of your personal information to any third party, other than your health insurance company, for billing purposes. 

Feinwachs says he has given his information to the Minnesota Attorney General's Office (AG).  But, the AG does not generally comment on open or possible investigations.

Allina Health provided the following statement:

The Allina Health “Consent for Release of Health Information” form complies with all applicable patient privacy laws. In addition to requesting consent to share information with insurance companies for the purpose of billing, the form asks patients for their consent to share information with others for the purpose of providing effective, coordinated care. Patients may decline consent to any of the items on the form and Allina Health honors the patient’s choice to decline. Allina Health is always happy to speak directly to patients who have questions about this process and how their information is shared and protected.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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