Ciresi Conlin’s medical malpractice and business litigation groups have teamed up to bring four class action lawsuits against Minnesota healthcare providers who are systematically denying patients access to their medical records.
Our medical records contain information that is both highly personal and extremely important. Minnesota law carefully regulates the way that healthcare providers are required to manage that information; one such law is the Minnesota Health Records Act, which gives patients the right to full, prompt, and cost-effective access to their medical records. However, many large healthcare systems in our state regularly and systematically deny Minnesota patients this right. They do this by overcharging, omitting critical records, misconstruing requests in order to justify larger fees, and even outright ignoring requests for medical records entirely. These providers’ actions impact thousands of Minnesota patients each year.
“The way these health care systems try to circumvent the law is brazen and systematic,” says Brandon Thompson, a partner with Ciresi Conlin. “These are huge corporations, and it’s nearly impossible for an individual patient to force one of these healthcare systems to honor his or her rights. To date, no one has held these providers accountable for the ongoing violation of Minnesota law.”
On behalf of each affected class of plaintiffs, Thompson, along with partner Barry Landy, have sued Minnesota healthcare systems Allina, HealthPartners, M Health Fairview/Health East, and Essentia. The goal is to ensure that the law is followed and to protect the rights of Minnesota patients. “With strength in numbers, we are hopeful we can get these providers to change how they’re doing business,” Thompson says. Each suit seeks injunctive relief to halt each provider’s unlawful denial of patients’ rights and declaratory relief to ensure each provider follows the law going forward. “Our hope,” Thompson says, “is that we can end this problem for all affected Minnesota patients once and for all.”