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Medical Records

July 20, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Patients have a legal right to obtain copies of their medical records. [ FOR THE RECORD : 12:25 p.m: An earlier version of this post said patient records belong to the patient. Under most state laws, they belong to a doctor or healthcare group. However, patients have a legal right to obtain copies of their records.] Patient records, however, are meant to help the doctor or other health professional organization obtain information and treat the patient safely and effectively. So what would happen if patients had much easier access to the doctors' notes?
June 11, 2010 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
State health regulators have fined Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center $95,000 for allowing unauthorized employees to view a patient's medical records, a breach that sources indicated targeted the files of Michael Jackson. The fine, one of six privacy-related penalties state officials announced Thursday, stems from multiple violations that led to the firing of two hospital employees. Two hospital contract workers were also fired for accessing the same patient's information, UCLA officials said.
May 7, 2010 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
Serious questions have emerged about whether Olive View- UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar has continued treating critically ill babies long after state officials said the hospital lacked the doctors to do so properly and told the facility to transfer such high-risk patients. State officials said they had downgraded the county hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, in late 2008. Since then, Olive View has been required to transfer babies needing a ventilator for more than four hours to a hospital that could provide a higher level of care, according to California Department of Health Care Services officials.
March 29, 2010 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Doctors and other medical personnel who volunteered last August at the largest free health clinic ever held in Los Angeles could practically watch as their patients slipped through the holes in the county's safety net. Among the 6,300 uninsured and underinsured seeking care at the Forum in Inglewood last year, Dr. Natalie Nevins diagnosed a 58-year-old woman as having diabetes and dangerously high blood sugar. The woman, who had recently lost her job and health insurance, refused to be hospitalized, afraid of the expense.
January 20, 2010 | By Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Molina Healthcare Inc., based in Long Beach, announced Tuesday that it has agreed to buy Unisys Corp.'s health information management unit for $135 million in cash. The unit of Unisys, which is an information technology services company, designs, develops and implements medical record systems outsourced by state governments to run their Medicaid systems, said J. Mario Molina, Molina Healthcare's chief executive. "Every state has a Medicaid system, and Medicaid contracts are big contracts and they don't come up to often," Molina said.
October 29, 2009 | Harriet Ryan
When the raucous gay pride parade coursed through West Hollywood's thronged streets four years ago, a slim, soft-spoken physician from Studio City rode in the back of a shiny convertible next to one of his patients, Anna Nicole Smith. "It was mesmerizing watching the crowd wave at us, at Anna and me, up there all buffed out on the car," Dr. Sandeep Kapoor recalled in his diary. Even more heady than the police escort and the paparazzi, he wrote, was the nightclub after-party. "I was making out with Anna, my patient, blurring the lines.
October 27, 2009 | Harriet Ryan
A psychiatrist described as a close friend and maternal figure to Anna Nicole Smith repeatedly prescribed excessive amounts of sedatives and opiates despite the model's history of substance abuse, an expert testified Monday. The expert told a judge hearing evidence against Dr. Khristine Eroshevich and two others that medical and pharmacy records indicated at least five instances in which the psychiatrist overprescribed Valium, Vicodin or other drugs in the three years leading up to Smith's death.
September 5, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
President Kennedy's Addison's disease, which came to light only after his election in 1960, was most likely caused by a rare autoimmune disease, according to a Navy doctor who reviewed Kennedy's medical records. The disease, autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 2, or APS 2, also caused Kennedy's hypothyroidism, according to a report published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Hard though it is to believe these days -- when a celebrity's smallest sneeze is analyzed -- Kennedy's family and advisors were able to keep his medical history virtually secret.
August 31, 2009 | Kathleen Kelleher
Twice a year, Mary Shomon officially checks her ever-fluctuating thyroid hormones -- but without bothering to leave her home for a trek to a lab or doctor's office. Instead, she pricks her finger with a tiny lancet provided in a thyroid test kit she orders over the Internet. The blood spots onto a small filter strip, which Shomon then mails to a lab. There, it's analyzed for the levels of thyroid hormones and antibodies. The results are sent directly to her home in Kensington, Md. Shomon shares the results with her doctor, who then adjusts treatment, or not, accordingly.
July 27, 2009 | Lisa Zamosky
If, like Rose Cohen, you have trouble accessing your medical records, there are steps you can take to remedy the situation. First, contact your state medical board, says Joy Pritts, associate professor and director of the Center on Medical Records Rights and Privacy at Georgetown University. Many states have informal procedures that facilitate a quick resolution.
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