Can I Use E-signatures on My Medical Record Release Forms?

By Josh Habegger

Many firms request medical records from National Record Retrieval using authorizations that are signed by E-Signature.  However, if it is possible, I suggest using a wet signature.  There is nothing wrong with using an e-signature, in fact, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has stated that it is acceptable on an authorization:

Electronic signatures have been considered fully acceptable as reflected in the development of HIPAA standards and guidance generally. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) has stated that a HIPAA covered entity such as a doctor or hospital does not need to verify the identity of the purported signer of an electronically signed document, and that an electronic signature is a sufficient signature for an authorization form.

The issue is that they leave it up to the providers/facilities to decide if they want to accept or deny an authorization with an E-signature.

Monthly Authorization Rejection Rate

Wet Signature- less than 1%

E-Signature- Between 12%-17%

Once a provider/facility has rejected an authorization, you have to start the process all over again.  They have up to 30 days to respond to the request, so if your initial requested is rejected you may be looking at 60 days before you even find out if they have the records you need for your case.  So to make sure you get your medical records as fast as possible, it is always best to have your client physically sign the release form.

For more information or help obtaining your medical records, feel free to contact us at


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Pare Down Your Medical Records and Save Money

By Josh Habegger


Are You Spending Too Much for Medical Records?

Provider fees can pile up and damage a firms cash flow, so it is important that attorneys look for ways to get the information that they need and keep expenses to a minimum.  We all want our medical records as soon as possible, but it is important that you, or your medical record vendor, verify every invoice before paying the provider or copy service.  It is a daily occurrence that we find our clients are being overcharged for their records, and we have to fight to make sure they do not pay more than they should.  Besides double and triple checking your invoices, consider only ordering certain sections of a medical record, or as we refer to them “sub-types”.  Instead of ordering a full medical record, that could be several hundred pages, order a few sub-types and reduce the number of pages by up to 80%.  If a state statute allows the provider to charge upwards of $1.00/page, you will realize substantial saving over a short period of time.

A Few Tips to Keep Provider Fees in Check

As I mentioned above, always check to make sure you are never over charged for your medical records.  This practice should be implemented as a standard in your ordering process.  Some firms have the ordering process down to a science and know exactly what to look for and which sub-types to order.  We give our clients an easy way to order sub-types and all it takes is a few clicks.  The sub-types most often ordered are: Abstract of Medical Records, Doctor’s Records, Operative Reports, Admission/Face Sheet, Chart Stickers, & Radiology/Diagnostic Reports.  This practice will allow you to quickly locate exactly what you are looking for and save your firm a substantial amount of money.

Quick tip-  Many cases will require the full medical record, but always order sub-types for pre-intake.

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