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PSYKICH

HIPAA and foreign nationals

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A foreign national friend wants me to take his medical records to a U.S. specialist for second opinion.  Is HIPAA involved when foreign patient (not  living here in U.S.)  and their records are not from  U.S.?  Where can I find forms for a non-citizen "Health Proxy"?

 

What other legal paperwork would U.S. specialist need to review the records and release second opinion to me?

 

Thank you.

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HIPAA is not implicated here. Whether you can find a doctor who will render an opinion based on medical care received elsewhere in the world, is a very different ballgame. Why it is your friend isn't contacting these doctors personally (via email, fax, phone)? Why would the opinion be released to you and not him?

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My experience with physicians is that they will not rely on medical records from any other facility.  My wife had a serious and rare problem.  We gathered all her records and took them to the reputed world's greatest experts in the malady twice.  This was at Mayo in Rochester. In both cases the experts (and they truly were the world's greatest experts) discarded all the records and ordered their own tests at Mayo.  I have a friend who is a nurse and said that specialists seldom or never rely on another physician's records.

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There are doctors who will perform a records review based solely on the medical records. The problem is going to be with the completeness of those records and evaluating records where the standard of care is different. Different countries have medications we do not and certain procedures and techniques are more prevalent in countries other than the US. Finding a doctor here who is both familiar with the standard of care and medical techniques available in the country of origin is going to be tough. Your best bet is going to be at a large research hospital, preferably with a doctor who had some education and training in the country your friend is from. There still isn't a compelling reason to make you the intermediary. Phones, email, mail, and fax exist all around the world. This is not the time to try and play the game "Telephone" and hope your understanding of the situation can be adequately conveyed to your friend.

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Hi PSYKICH,

 

Like ElleMD said, larger research hospitals often provide a "medical records review" for international patients. If your friend's concern is actually getting the medical records to the facility, these hospitals are no doubt familiar with receiving medical records via the means ElleMD lists above. It would probably be faster and easier for your friend to do all this him/herself. However, if your friend still wants you to deal with this on his/her behalf, I would contact the hospital directly to find out what they would require from you in this situation.

 

Best of luck to you and your friend.

 

The FindLaw.com Team

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