UPDATE: Patient Bank has shut down as of Nov. 17, 2017
Although we have a right to request our medical records, that doesn’t mean we can get them easily. One of the problems, especially with chronic illness, is that our health records are often scattered across many different healthcare providers. Tracking down all of your doctors’ reports, lab test results, x-rays, and hospital records can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and expensive. This is where PatientBank can help.
Disclosure: “I have been given access to PatientBank.us as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.“
What Is PatientBank?
PatientBank is a service that helps patients gather, store, and share their medical records. Patients, especially those with a chronic illness, have started to see the importance of self-advocacy and the need for greater control over their own health. PatientBank has 3 main features that are crucial for those who want to manage their own healthcare data. Medical record retrieval, secure online storage, and sharing.
Medical Record Retrieval
The process of gathering medical records can be overwhelming. Every doctor, clinic, and hospital have a slightly different process for completing medical record requests. PatientBank streamlines the entire process. By using PatientBank, you can request and keep your medical records from any hospital or doctor’s office in the United States.
To use PatientBank, you simply create an account, fill out your medical record request orders, and sign a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) authorization electronically.
The HIPAA compliant authorization form is sent to your medical providers asking them to send your records to PatientBank. The staff at PatientBank then follows up and retrieves all the information requested. Once it is returned to PatientBank, you receive an email that the records are ready to view, download, and share.
Secure Online Storage
Once PatientBank gathers your medical records, they are stored securely in your PatientBank account online. As long as you have internet access, you can access your records from your computer, cell phone or tablet.
You can also upload the records you already have to PatientBank. You can do this in two easy ways:
- You can fax or mail the records to PatientBank and they will scan and upload them for you.
- You can scan and upload PDF copies of the records directly to your account
Your records will then be stored securely in the cloud and you can access them at anytime from anywhere as long as you have internet access.
Most patients need to gather their medical records for a specific purpose. By using PatientBank, you can share your records with another doctor in preparation for an upcoming appointment, your attorney for a medical case, or even for insurance or workers’ compensation claims. Just create a secure link to your medical records and then email the link to the appropriate person.
PatientBank gives you complete control over your medical history and you decide how to best use it.
PatientBank Will Save You Money
The federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act gives patients the right to obtain a copy of their medical records from any medical provider. This includes doctors notes, lab reports, X-rays and anything else that is in our medical file.
A provider cannot deny you a copy of your records. However, they can charge you a reasonable, cost-based fee for each record request. These fees vary widely between states.
For instance, the fees in Illinois include:
Search Fee: $26.58
Pages 1 – 25: $1.00 per page
Pages 26 – 50: $0.66 per page
Pages 50+: $0.33 per page
Microfilm or other media: $1.66 per page
Postage: Actual cost of mailing
Believe me, these charges can add up fast. It cost me $400.00 to get my medical records from one provider for my disability case.
PatientBank charges $30 per request, which covers the costs associated with tracking down, scanning, and uploading medical records on your behalf. (I would have saved $370.00.)
PatientBank Will Save You Time
HIPAA allows providers 30 days to complete a record request. It also allows a single 30-day extension, but the facility must explain the cause of the delay. PatientBank usually gets them much faster. It took two weeks to get my records using PatientBank.
PatientBank tracks the turnaround time for every request and this gives them insight into how fast or slow a provider might be fulfilling your request. PatientBank can then let you know what to expect. PatientBank also has special tools that help the provider improve their response time. With every PatientBank request, they are seeing faster turnaround times.
Take Ownership of Your Medical Records
An important part of managing chronic illness is managing your healthcare data. This means doing things like transferring information from doctor to doctor, tracking information about treatments and hospitalizations, and correcting mistakes in records. PatientBank makes it possible to have all of your records in one place, accessible to your entire health team and controlled by you.
Getting my medical records through PatientBank was fast, easy, and cost-effective. You can visit them at PatientBank.us.