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Why you should check your medical records after every visit

On Behalf of | Aug 28, 2023 | Erisa

When you need to file a claim for ERISA disability benefits, a lot can rest on your doctor’s words – so having accurate, up-to-date medical records are important.

Unfortunately, studies show that error rates in medical records are very high. One study indicated that more than 21% of patients found errors when looking through their own medical records and their doctor’s notes – and more than 42% of those errors were either somewhat or very serious.

What are some of the main errors patients found?

In recent years, “patient portals” have given people unprecedented access to their own health records – and that’s revealed just how convoluted and inaccurate some of those records can be. Patients have reported mistakes like:

  • Errors when recording a current or past diagnosis
  • Mistakes regarding medications
  • Incorrect or forgotten allergies
  • Inaccurate medical histories
  • Mistakes pertaining to the results of tests and procedures
  • Inaccuracies involving referrals, physical exams and communications

In 6.5% of the cases reported in the aforementioned study, patients even found that their records contained notes that seemed to be on a different patient.

What effect could that have on your long-term disability benefits?

When your medical records contain missing, contradictory or inaccurate information, that’s all it may take to cast doubt on your claim in the insurance company’s eyes. At the very minimum, it could cause you to be put through an independent medical exam and experience unnecessary delays.

When you’re seeking disability benefits, consistency is key. Your medical records should consistently reflect an accurate medical history, treatment and limitations. Reviewing your medical records after every visit can help you address discrepancies and omissions that could negatively affect your claim before they become an issue.