HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. When you get in an accident one of the first things the insurance companies try to get you to sign is a HIPAA form. This form gives them complete and total access to your complete medical health file. The insurance companies will try to tell you that they need this HIPAA release because they need to “properly” evaluate your claim. However, this is not true.
In Colorado, the only medical records that an insurance company is entitled to are the medical records for injuries that you are claiming from the accident in which you were injured. However, if you are claiming an injury from that accident AND you have injured that body part in the past then the insurance company does have a right to those past records, but only those records. For example, if you injured your back three years ago skiing, and then subsequently were in an accident and hurt your back again, then the insurance does have a right to those records. However, if you broke your leg three years ago, but in the accident you are asking for compensation for your neck, they have NO right to those records.
The reason insurance companies want your whole medical history is to try to diminish the value of your claim because of pre-existing injuries. They might try to say you are more susceptible to injury because you have been hurt in the past, while in reality these arguments are completely untrue.
If you have a question about these HIPAA forms and have recently been in an accident, please contact The Sawaya Law Firm and we will be happy help you with these issues.