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mcdwg11

Junior Member
#1
State California

68 years old

My mother went to a dental group about a year ago. The treatment proposed was more than $7000, it included crowns and bridges and not sure what else. The problem is that she has had to go on average at least once a month because something broke or she has pain, they would "fix" it and she would be fine for sometime but then something else happens. My mom is frustrated and so am I, my wife suggested that my mom requests her records and my father in law a retired dentist would take a look at them.
I took my mother and asked the receptionist about the process of requesting records and she said it can't be done only if another dentist asks for them. I told her per HIPPA regulations she has the right to get her records, she said it was office policy and she would have to call a supervisor to ask about it, we left because I wanted to reasearch more. I talked to my wife and she mentioned how even in their website it says patients have the right to their records, she sent me the information on texts and HIPPA regs as well. I sent them an email saying my mother wanted to request her records and per HIPPA and their website she could do so by filling out a form and to confirm that since the receptionist had said it couldn't be done. They replied confirming a form wad only needed but saying I misunderstood, we went back filled out the form and they said the records would be ready in 15 days so we left. She had an appt a few days later because she had pain from a crown she did, she showed up and she wad told they could not see her anymore because she had filled out the form to see another dentist, when in fact she never said that. She was also told about lawyers and how she should not involve people when it was her decision. Basically they intimidated her, I went back in with my mother and asked if in fact she wad being denied being seen because she requested her records. The receptionist immediately changed her tune and said my wife had canceled the appt. Which was false.
I told them I would report them to the BBB and the dental association. I sent them an email as well, the never apologized or offer any resolution instead played the victim saying I was harrasong them.
We suspect they did something shady and will not want to give my mom her records we know they have to provide written justification as to any denial, so we'll see what they do.
In the meantime my mom still has pain and we have to look for another dentist.
Does my mom have any legal recourse on this? Should we report them for bad customer service or trying to deny her records? We think there is some kind of negligence since she's had to go back so many times and now they denied service. Should we contact a lawyer or wait for the records and then contact one? Thanks for any advice.
 
Last edited:


cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
#2
If your mother believes that HIPAA was violated, she can file a complaint with HHS. They are the regulatory agency for HIPAA. They take violations very seriously - however, neither you nor your mother should expect to be told what their findings are or what action is taken. You will not be.

The BBB is a consumer agency and has no regulatory authority. Nor is there any agency that punishes offices for "bad customer service".
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
#3
My mother went to a dental group about a year ago. The treatment proposed was more than $7000, it included crowns and bridges and not sure what else. The problem is that she has had to go on average at least once a month because something broke or she has pain, they would "fix" it and she would be fine for sometime but then something else happens. My mom is frustrated and so am I, my wife suggested that my mom requests her records and my father in law a retired dentist would take a look at them.
I took my mother and asked the receptionist about the process of requesting records and she said it can't be done only if another dentist asks for them. I told her per HIPPA regulations she has the right to get her records, she said it was office policy and she would have to call a supervisor to ask about it, we left because I wanted to reasearch more. I talked to my wife and she mentioned how even in their website it says patients have the right to their records, she sent me the information on texts and HIPPA regs as well. I sent them an email saying my mother wanted to request her records and per HIPPA and their website she could do so by filling out a form and to confirm that since the receptionist had said it couldn't be done. They replied confirming a form wad only needed but saying I misunderstood, we went back filled out the form and they said the records would be ready in 15 days so we left. She had an appt a few days later because she had pain from a crown she did, she showed up and she wad told they could not see her anymore because she had filled out the form to see another dentist, when in fact she never said that. She was also told about lawyers and how she should not involve people when it was her decision. Basically they intimidated her, I went back in with my mother and asked if in fact she wad being denied being seen because she requested her records. The receptionist immediately changed her tune and said my wife had canceled the appt. Which was false.
I told them I would report them to the BBB and the dental association. I sent them an email as well, the never apologized or offer any resolution instead played the victim saying I was harrasong them.
We suspect they did something shady and will not want to give my mom her records we know they have to provide written justification as to any denial, so we'll see what they do.
In the meantime my mom still has pain and we have to look for another dentist.
Does my mom have any legal recourse on this? Should we report them for bad customer service or trying to deny her records? We think there is some kind of negligence since she's had to go back so many times and now they denied service. Should we contact a lawyer or wait for the records and then contact one? Thanks for any advice.
Please ask your mother to join and start her own thread. Please remind her to post her state. Thank you.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#4
My mother went to a dental group about a year ago. The treatment proposed was more than $7000, it included crowns and bridges and not sure what else. The problem is that she has had to go on average at least once a month because something broke or she has pain, they would "fix" it and she would be fine for sometime but then something else happens. My mom is frustrated and so am I, my wife suggested that my mom requests her records and my father in law a retired dentist would take a look at them.
I took my mother and asked the receptionist about the process of requesting records and she said it can't be done only if another dentist asks for them. I told her per HIPPA regulations she has the right to get her records, she said it was office policy and she would have to call a supervisor to ask about it, we left because I wanted to reasearch more. I talked to my wife and she mentioned how even in their website it says patients have the right to their records, she sent me the information on texts and HIPPA regs as well. I sent them an email saying my mother wanted to request her records and per HIPPA and their website she could do so by filling out a form and to confirm that since the receptionist had said it couldn't be done. They replied confirming a form wad only needed but saying I misunderstood, we went back filled out the form and they said the records would be ready in 15 days so we left. She had an appt a few days later because she had pain from a crown she did, she showed up and she wad told they could not see her anymore because she had filled out the form to see another dentist, when in fact she never said that. She was also told about lawyers and how she should not involve people when it was her decision. Basically they intimidated her, I went back in with my mother and asked if in fact she wad being denied being seen because she requested her records. The receptionist immediately changed her tune and said my wife had canceled the appt. Which was false.
I told them I would report them to the BBB and the dental association. I sent them an email as well, the never apologized or offer any resolution instead played the victim saying I was harrasong them.
We suspect they did something shady and will not want to give my mom her records we know they have to provide written justification as to any denial, so we'll see what they do.
In the meantime my mom still has pain and we have to look for another dentist.
Does my mom have any legal recourse on this? Should we report them for bad customer service or trying to deny her records? We think there is some kind of negligence since she's had to go back so many times and now they denied service. Should we contact a lawyer or wait for the records and then contact one? Thanks for any advice.
What is the name of your state?

How old is your mother?

It appears your mother's best course of action is the one she is already taking - and that is to see a different dentist.

The new dentist will review your mother's records from her first dentist before examining and treating her. The new dentist will be able to tell your mother if there is anything that the previous dentist did that needs correcting.

I think it is too early to contact an attorney. The dentist's office worker might have been less than knowledgeable about the rights of patients to their own records and it appears the office could improve their customer service, but these alone do not support a legal action.
 

mcdwg11

Junior Member
#5
If your mother believes that HIPAA was violated, she can file a complaint with HHS. They are the regulatory agency for HIPAA. They take violations very seriously - however, neither you nor your mother should expect to be told what their findings are or what action is taken. You will not be.

The BBB is a consumer agency and has no regulatory authority. Nor is there any agency that punishes offices for "bad customer service".
Thanks for the reply, they did allowed her to request her records after I told them that per HIPPA they have to, they said it would take 15 - 30 days which of course is the time they are allowed to take. I'm afraid though that they will try to delay or may come up with some bogus excuse for not wanting to give them to her. As far as the BBB is concerned I just want to make sure their practices are exposed because they have lied, tried intimidating tactics, and I'm sure most people don't even say anything.

Thanks once again
 

mcdwg11

Junior Member
#7
What is the name of your state?

How old is your mother?

It appears your mother's best course of action is the one she is already taking - and that is to see a different dentist.

The new dentist will review your mother's records from her first dentist before examining and treating her. The new dentist will be able to tell your mother if there is anything that the previous dentist did that needs correcting.

I think it is too early to contact an attorney. The dentist's office worker might have been less than knowledgeable about the rights of patients to their own records and it appears the office could improve their customer service, but these alone do not support a legal action.
My mother is 68 years old and in California. Thank you for your reply
 

quincy

Senior Member
#8
Thanks for the reply, they did allowed her to request her records after I told them that per HIPPA they have to, they said it would take 15 - 30 days which of course is the time they are allowed to take. I'm afraid though that they will try to delay or may come up with some bogus excuse for not wanting to give them to her. As far as the BBB is concerned I just want to make sure their practices are exposed because they have lied, tried intimidating tactics, and I'm sure most people don't even say anything.

Thanks once again
Thank you for answering my questions.

From what you described, it sounds more like a mistake was made by an uninformed office worker - and that you may have been more intimidating than you realized, making the dental group circle their wagons to protect against (oral and possible legal) attacks against their practice.

You might have, in other words, unintentionally caused the practice to react as it did and drop your mother as a patient.

If you file a complaint with the BBB, you must be very sure of your facts. And I would not file anything until you see if the records are received.

I hope your mother is able to get her dental problems fixed properly. Good luck.
 
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mcdwg11

Junior Member
#9
Thank you for answering my questions.

From what you described, it sounds more like a mistake made by an uninformed office worker - and that you may have been more intimidating than you realized, making the dental group circle their wagons to protect against (oral and possible legal) attacks against their practice.

You might have, in other words, unintentionally caused the practice to drop your mother as a patient.

If you file a complaint with the BBB, you must be very sure of your facts.

I hope your mother is able to get her dental problems fixed properly. Good luck.
Thanks once again, believe me the first time all I did was ask what the process was and left to do my research. This is the weird part, she was told she would be dropped because she had requested her records to see another dentist which never happened and they talked to her about lawyers, then I showed up and they are trying to say I canceled the appointment and they have to reschedule; for one thing I can't cancel her appt. and secondly when she's alone she's treated differently than when she is with me. The dishonesty is what pisses me off, I can show you the email exchange I had with them, not once in my view I harassed them, all i did was state facts, and them instead of offering a resolution acted like victims. Anyways I'm still pissed if you can tell in my writing. She's paying half her monthly income to these people and it's not right she is still in pain. Thanks again for the reply.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#10
Thanks once again, believe me the first time all I did was ask what the process was and left to do my research. This is the weird part, she was told she would be dropped because she had requested her records to see another dentist which never happened and they talked to her about lawyers, then I showed up and they are trying to say I canceled the appointment and they have to reschedule; for one thing I can't cancel her appt. and secondly when she's alone she's treated differently than when she is with me. The dishonesty is what pisses me off, I can show you the email exchange I had with them, not once in my view I harassed them, all i did was state facts, and them instead of offering a resolution acted like victims. Anyways I'm still pissed if you can tell in my writing. She's paying half her monthly income to these people and it's not right she is still in pain. Thanks again for the reply.
Oh, I can understand the reasons why you are upset with the dental group. They definitely acted poorly.

It will take a personal review of your mother's dental records by your mother's new dentist (and perhaps a review of the records by your father-in-law) to determine if there is any legal action to pursue against the first dentist, though.

It is entirely possible that all of the dental treatments your mom has received have been legitimately necessary and the pain she's experienced unavoidable.

It is also possible that the dental group took advantage of your mother's good nature and subjected her to unnecessary dental work, or what work was done might not have been done properly.

Again, I wish your mom good luck. She is lucky to have a child close by who is looking out for her.
 
#11
HIPAA is enforced as civil rights . This is also exemplified as faithful and credited (article IV, sec 1) "Full and faith credit clause" every state statue in creating such law, must adapt it's code in equal standing to a federal regulations if not it violates the Constitution. For HIPAA this is your local state compliance officer. This law is enforced by office of civil rights .
Good luck !
 
#12
I am not seeing anything that relates to HIPAA here, with the exception of the form to be filled out to supply records to the patient. HIPAA does not require that records be supplied to the patient - it requires that the patient be allowed to review their records once per year. Since most records are electronic these days, and a good portion of dental records would be radiological in nature, I expect that it is simply easier to transfer records electronically to another office. If the OP is expecting paper copies or actual films, the OP should expect to be charged per page and per film copy. The originals would stay with the dentist.
 
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