Trying to Access Military Medical Records for Administrative Remedial

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by MomLaf, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. MomLaf

    MomLaf Member

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    My son has received an administrative remedial. My husband is retired military. All of the conditions for which DODMERB wants medical records are in the military medical computers. I asked a few years ago, when the system went computerized and again when we moved, for copies of his records but I was told that they can only go through the civilian doctor requesting them.

    Today I looked up on-line the military hospital we are technically assigned to, though due to distance we are allowed to (and do) see a civilian provider. At the site I could only find a general info number which was the operator, who sent me to Active Duty medical records (?), who sent me to Outpatient Medical Records. They were not answering the phone so I was told to leave a voice mail, then another system came on and said they don't do voice mail and I was forwarded to someone else who turned out to be operator who started me on this whole journey.

    He sent me this time to the Patient Advocate, who connected me to someone in Medical Records.

    The Medical Records guy asked if my son had been seen there and when. When I told him, he said we had to send in a written request and gave me the form number to look up in google. It is now sitting in my printer, which I shall retrieve and fill out. Is this truely the right path? How long should I expect this to take? How in the world do I follow up on this since the right hand doesn't seem to know what the left hand is doing?

    By the way, I wasn't too crazy about the doc doing the exam either. He kept suggesting we never should have gotten so detailed with our paperwork. We tried to tell him we only answered the questions honestly, with mere yes and no answers and then it kicked in a flurry of more questions for more details on certain conditions. He politely shamed us for having done that at all. (????)
     
  2. MomLaf

    MomLaf Member

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    Also I'm not sure what to put down for dates of period of treatment. He had scores of check ups since he was little and I never documented all that. I had no idea then, that I'd be filling out a form today...
     
  3. MomLaf

    MomLaf Member

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    What is an "authorization start date" v "authorization expiration?" What do I put down?
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    When did he retire?

    When Bullet retired (AF) in 08, we were handed not only all of the hard copies for every member in the family, but they also gave us a CD-Rom with their records. The AF also has their records in their computers.

    Have you contacted the base hospital from where your husband retired or the 1st doc you went to after he retired?

    If I read your post correctly what they are saying is you never signed the Privacy Act and need you or your husband to sign the form before they release the records.(For our military medical records that form was in the back of our files----may be why we were able to walk with our records when he retired)
    ~~~ When in doubt, the military member should make the calls! A wife, is a wife.
    ~ If DS is 18, he must sign the papers to approve the release. He is legally an adult.

    Believe it or not the right hand is talking to the left. It is the law that they must have it submitted in writing.

    I would have your husband contact a few days after faxing back to verify that they are processing the paperwork.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would not put down any dates until you get his records.
     
  6. MomLaf

    MomLaf Member

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    My husband retired in 2009 and I was quite specific (face to face) with the records people at the base hospital about moving and needing/wanting copies but they were firm in not releasing anything to me for any reason. It wasn't the first I had asked, and no one said anything about a form. I think my husband got a CD but not the rest of us.

    My right hand v left hand comment was primarily aimed at being sent from office to office to office...

    The base hospital from which my husband retired said they won't talk to us anymore since we were moving. Yesterday I e-mailed the doc my son saw at this hospital whose part of the remedial info...but he has not replied yet. We don't usually use the base hospital because we live so far out.

    I told the guy on the phone, who told me to do this release form, that my son was 18 but he said we had to sign it for him.
     
  7. MomLaf

    MomLaf Member

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    Also we have no idea who to call back to check on things. I was forwarded by the Patient Advocate to a very secretive location in records where they do not answer phone calls or take voice mail.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    From what I can gather, I am assuming you and your DH did not sign the Privacy Act paperwork.
    ~ We were AF, so don't read into my assumption.

    As I said earlier, in the back of all of our ADAF family medical records, Bullet and I both signed a Privacy Act form. He always picked them up prior to every PCS because that form was signed by both of us. I gave him permission, he gave me permission to see any medical record. Think limited Power of Attorney. I never in 20 yrs picked the records up from the outgoing base, or handed them into the new base, but we always had to hand carry our records from base to base. Bullet always did it.

    Have you looked at his CD Rom to see if they downloaded the entire family record onto that Rom?
    Worse case scenario you maybe able to get the direct number for the office at the last base and see if your DH can call to have them pull the records for you.
    ~ If they can ask for them to send it to you, be it copies or Rom.
     
  9. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    MomLaf: per the above portion of your post, it seems you have a course of action AND at least two contacts who know what you are trying to accomplish. Fill out the HIPPA form (or whatever it is) and send it to anyone and everyone that needs it. Have your son sign it if he is 18. Work both contacts simultaneously until they become an advocate rather than a bureaucrat. Just commit yourself to working the system hard.

    Another thought - if you have any VA hospital or office in your area they might be able to help also? Not sure - just guessing.

    Good luck!
     
  10. MomLaf

    MomLaf Member

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    Yes, we are retired USAF. I think we did sign those forms at the back of the medical files, because I remember them being there.

    Definitely will work this! =) And as soon as I googled the form I realized what they were wanting. The form makes sense, just not sure on the previously mentioned items.

    Although the medical records personnel have repeatedly told me we can not have access to our own records (they didn't even check for the form in the back), it sounds like we can have them.

    And I'm remembering the last guy I talked to said we could either have the requested records mailed to us or to DODMERB. I'm thinking of putting our personal address down so we can know that the records were sent, and then I can wade through the mass of paperwork for the specific items that that DODMERB requested. I have a general idea of when those appointments were but don't know specifically when. If this is allowable?

    Also I hadn't thought to look on my husband's CD. We can check that tonight!
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Honestly, I would have your DH call.

    Hate to say it, but that is the truth. You are the dependent. Your husband knows the system. He has a rank.

    JMPO and 0.019864 cents. To this day, if it is medical records, Bullet deals with it.
     
  12. MomLaf

    MomLaf Member

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    My husband checked his CD and no, none of our medical information is on there. Also he is soooooooooooooooooo confused. That's okay. My son and I understand what is happening and none of the trouble I had today had anything to do with my being the wife. =) It was because no one knew who to send me to or that records doesn't answer phone calls. At least my son and I can fill out the form tomorrow and fax it and be on our way. Yea!
     
  13. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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    You need to call/go to the nearest MTF (regardless of service) and ask for a FOIA (freedom of information act) for your medical records. This request needs to be processed through the patient administration division (PAD). You'll need to sign a few documents and you're good to go. It's too easy...
     
  14. MomLaf

    MomLaf Member

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    This doesn't make sense to me (not up on all the acronymns, facilities and paperwork) but I'm going to do a copy and paste and send it to my husband to see what he can do. Thanks!
     
  15. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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    The only one I didn't explain (I'm usually good at this, sorry) is MTF

    Medical Treatment Facility
     
  16. MomLaf

    MomLaf Member

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    First a couple of details to make this easier. My husband retired from the USAF in 2009 and our MTF was Wilford Hall, Lackland AFB. They refused to give me our records (mine and the kids) and they told me that in Washington DC, all they have to do is look in the computer. When we met with a specialist at Walter Reed a few summers ago, he did indeed find my son's medical info on his computer while he sat with us in his office, bringing up his records from Lackland.

    Our MTF is currently Walter Reed. My husband just called...and got the same run around I got yesterday. Also they said that they don't even have any of our records from Lackland (not that they bothered to check) but said we have to call Lackland for our old records.


    ??? But I thought they were in the computer system with global access. When I told my husband that he said that they said that they don't have that technology yet. ?????

    Meanwhile...I guess I will call Lackland....but why does this have to be so difficult?????? =) Why can't I just have my son sign the release form DD 2870 and fax it to DODMERB and let them look it up (assuming they have the key to global technology of medical records)?
     
  17. MomLaf

    MomLaf Member

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    Also I think my mom told me that Wilford Hall Medical Center no longer exists a a hospital but is now only clinics and the San Antonio hospital is BAMC. Where are our records? This is why I wanted them but I was told, while face to face with the records personnel, that that was not an option.
     
  18. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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    Your records are on a computer system called AHLTA (google it....spelling it out won't make sense). Any military MTF or clinic can view your records.
     
  19. MomLaf

    MomLaf Member

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    Thank you! I'm doing another copy and paste of this to my husband.
     
  20. MomLaf

    MomLaf Member

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    We're right back to square one. My husband works at the Pentagon and went to their MTF and they are the ones who said no paperwork can be accessed. Anyway he called Walter Reed and they said, again, to fill out DD 2870, and fax a copy to Walter Reed, but they can only access records back to 2005 (even though we didn't move to Virginia until 2009). They said for records prior to 2005 we have to fill out a DD2870 and fax that to Wilford Hall at Lackland AFB, since that was our previous MTF.

    MabryPsyD, I copied and pasted all of your info and my husband keeps telling the records people what you say, but they aren't listening.

    My son and I will be working on the DD2870...
     

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