Tips for Organizing Health Records

Organizing your medical records and health care information is very important. 80% of patient medical bills contain errors, so you don’t want clutter and disorganization here.


Be sure to check out the second part of my blog coming on February 11th.


I am someone who checks every purchase on my monthly credit card statements. A few months ago, we discovered the pizza deliveryman was adding tips to our credit card although we always gave cash tips. It was $5, but that can add up quickly.

If you aren’t paying attention, you could be overcharged on not only doctor’s visits (that happened to me, even though my co-pay was right on my health insurance card! But also on exams and surgery. According to Medical Billing Advocates of America, 80% of patient medical bills contain errors. If you are organized you will be on top of everything and know if you are being overcharged. It will also help bring you peace of mind.


At the end of September, I had surgery. I was at the doctor’s office on Friday and had surgery on Wednesday. I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, but because I know how important it is to be organized, I started a file to keep track of everything.


Online Organization

Both of my doctor’s office have all medical records, medical history, and billing online and they are both organized by category and pretty easy to navigate.


First, take the time to familiarize yourself with the website and understand how they are set up. Look through each of the tabs and understand how they categorize. Just because it is online, doesn’t mean they wont make mistakes. I had asked for a short extension to pay a large bill; they granted it, but then I got a notice asking why it wasn’t paid, both via mail and email. Luckily all of my correspondence was in my email folder and I could refer them to that.


If you communicate with your doctor or health insurer via email you can designate a folder in your inbox to keep all correspondence. If you have a lot of correspondence designate an email address and create more specific folders. For example, might have folders with Julie surgery; tony surgery; insurance paid, etc.


You will always want to check with your accountant, attorney, health care advocate, etc. about how long you should retain records.

Organizing Health Records

While it is great that I have all of medical correspondence and files online, I still get Explanation of Benefits and other correspondence from my health insurance, so it’s worth taking the time to come up with a system.


It’s important to keep track of any legal or financial paperwork. You will want contact numbers and addresses; insurance information; account numbers easily available. When I call my insurance, I write down the name, date and time of the person I spoke with on the EOB or other information requested.


I also suggest being proactive and creating a family health record. About 18 months ago my husband went to the ER for chest pains. Thankfully, he didn’t have a heart attack. On veterans day he complained of chest pains again and we went to the doctor, we were fortunate that they had all our records available because the ER we went to was affiliated with our doctors’ but that isn’t always the case.


How do you need to organize your health records? What’s your medical record clutter? Are your health records online?

DIY Options to Clear Clutter

Purchase Julie’s books on how to clear clutter from your life:

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