The day after I found out I was pregnant, I requested a copy of my medical records from UCLA. I should have requested them much sooner, but I didn’t for two reasons. The first was that when I requested a copy of my records from Madeline’s pregnancy (from a different hospital), it took five days to receive them, so I figured UCLA would move just as quickly. It’s hilarious I thought that, actually. That was my first reason/mistake. The second reason I waited was I was just really in denial about the whole UCLA/Blue Shield insurance thing. I was certain they’d work it out in time. That was my second mistake.
Getting medical records from UCLA is a process. First, you have to request them in writing. Luckily, I was able to fax in my request on April 10. A few days later, I called them to confirm they’d received my fax. I was told that it would take fifteen days to process my request. That meant I wouldn’t have them for my first appointment with my new OB, but I’d likely have them in time for my first appointment with Dr. Hirisk. I was annoyed, but only with myself for not thinking ahead and requesting them in advance.
On April 25th, I received a call from the records department. They were calling to confirm they’d received my request, and exactly which records did I need? I said, hey there, let’s back up – it’s been fifteen days, I thought I was supposed to have my records by now. I was told no, it takes fifteen days just to process the request. As in, fifteen days to literally get to my faxed letter asking for a copy of my records. I told the woman exactly what records I needed (all records from Dr. Risky and Dr. Blood from April 2009 to April 2010 – which I’d written on the letter I’d faxed in, but whatever). She told me that someone would pull my records, count how many pages I requested, send me a bill for the copies, and after I paid the bill they would then make a copy of my records and send them to me. I asked if I could pay in person and wait for my copies, and she replied that it wasn’t an option. At this point, I was really rolling my eyes at UCLA.
The bill for the copies arrived on April 30, and I mailed back a check for $19.08 that same day. After that I was busy with travel, Jackie!’s walk, and Mother’s Day, so it slipped my mind. Then I miscarried and it really slipped my mind. An hour after my OB told me about the tissue error, my phone rang. It was someone from the UCLA medical records department calling to tell me that sometime between the counting of the pages and the actual copying of said pages, part of my records had been misplaced. I was all, “jigga wha?” The woman on the other end assured me they were looking everywhere for them, and that they’d not only send what they had now, but also refund my money for the pages I wasn’t getting AND SPECIAL BONUS send me the copies of the missing pages for free once they were located. UM YOU THINK?!?!
If she hadn’t gotten me so soon after I’d already used up all my angry juice on my former OB, I would have asked to speak with a supervisor. But instead I figured I’d wait until the records arrived to see what “part” was missing before I got mad. I was too worn out to get into it that day.
Well, they arrived on Saturday. The first page? The day I delivered Annabel. So the “part” that was missing was my entire pregnancy, and everything from Dr. Blood. So, not PART of my chart. MY ENTIRE CHART. The only things they had were what was “online,” meaning, test results. For example, they included the ultrasound results from June 2011, when Dr. Looove thought my gallbladder was exploding. That also means I paid for copies of records I didn’t request. OH and they didn’t send me a refund, so I also paid for things I didn’t get at all.
I have a call in to the medical records department, a call that has yet to be returned. Maybe because they could sense my extreme anger?