Many of the records we retrieve here at The Records Company, such as coroner’s reports and police reports, are familiar to the general public. Emergency medical service (EMS) bills and records may not get a lot of mentions on Law and Order, but they provide essential information for accident and personal injury litigation and some insurance claims.
Like other records, such as police reports, EMS reports document where and when emergency services are engaged. Some EMS reports are handwritten, but most EMS providers use an electronic system to complete reports and gather data. These reports also provide information about a patient’s condition and complaints, such as chest pains, and the conditions of the patient’s surroundings when the EMS team arrives, such as damaged property or vehicles at an accident scene. EMS reports include a narrative of response efforts, including treatment administered on the scene and/or in transit. EMS provides the first response to accident and injury cases, and theirs is often the first record of an incident.
Patients typically bear the cost of ambulance services, either out of pocket or through their insurance, or both. Insurance companies use EMS billing records to determine what percentage of an EMS payment a policy will cover. In the cases of patients who die before reaching a hospital, EMS records are essential for settling death benefit claims for their families. In litigation, EMS billing records provide an additional source of information documenting time and place of an incident, services rendered, and damages sought.
EMS Records and Medical Records
EMS records contain sensitive medical information, so requests for these records must be compliant with federal and state privacy regulations. Because emergency medical services are administered at the local level, either through county or city services, they have varying procedures for retrieving these records, although most require a release form from the patient or legal representative.
EMS Retrieval Challenges
Throughout the United States, emergency services are provided by municipal and county authorities. Some of these authorities maintain their own emergency service and ambulance fleets, often in conjunction with fire departments. Some cities and counties contract with private companies to provide emergency services. To further complicate matters, local authorities may outsource billing to a third-party company as well. Some of these companies are local, some are national.
How We Help
The Records Company requires our client specialists to be HIPAA certified. This means we follow all mandated guidelines to preserve client privacy and maintain compliance with privacy laws when we retrieve EMS reports. Our expertise in medical records privacy law also allows us to navigate state and local policies governing the cost of retrieving these records, ensuring the lowest cost for our clients.
Our national reach also allows us to track down EMS records through the maze of emergency service providers and billing agencies that can complicate EMS record retrieval. If you need an EMS report and the corresponding billing records, we can save you the time and energy of seeking out the municipal authorities and contractors to determine who has the records you need and how to get them. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you get EMS records—and any other records you need—quickly.