Tracking down (my) medical history
June 1, 2021 11:57 AM   Subscribe

I had two surgeries for the same issue - one in 2008, and one in 2016. I may need another. I now need to track down the medical records for both. But I cannot remember where I had the 2008 procedure done.

I could send a records request to all the metro hospitals in the area I was living at the time, I suppose, but that is a last resort. Is there a better way to do this? Will an insurance company have records this far back?
posted by heigh-hothederryo to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
Have you checked your records from the 2016 surgery? You may have sent the previous records to them, or they may have a note of it in your file.
posted by sillysally at 12:06 PM on June 1, 2021 [4 favorites]

I would expect your insurance company to have records of your claims, though you might have to request offline research for ones that old.

Do you still have your email account from those days? Would there be confirmations of appointments and the like there?

Might you have mentioned it on Facebook or other social media?

Any chance you paid the bills with checks?
posted by praemunire at 12:29 PM on June 1, 2021

Might you recognize it if you used Google Street View to look at candidate hospital buildings?
posted by carmicha at 12:31 PM on June 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

Did someone drive you there, or bring you home? Sometimes the driver has better recall of place than the passenger/patient in these circumstances.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 12:49 PM on June 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

Another possible route is through the meds -- the pharmacy should have a record of who prescribed for you then.
posted by Dashy at 12:49 PM on June 1, 2021 [4 favorites]

Did you have a Primary Care Physician in the old metro? Or did you visit a specialist before/after the surgery for any assessments/follow ups? If you remember their names, or what practice they were a part of, they may have records of the referrals, etc. leading up to the surgery that could set you on the right track, or may even have the full records, if they were sent after the surgery.
posted by yuwtze at 1:47 PM on June 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

I would see if your current GP/doctor and their staff could track that info down. They may be able to trace it back using your name, SSN, location, and other details.

(I had a very similar experience recently; I just saw a new neurologist last month. With my permission, they were able to access all of my past medical records, including those back in 2008. Between 2008 and now I've changed cities, health insurance companies, GPs, Neurologists, my legal name, and my legal gender. I didn't change my SSN, though, and that helped. They didn't have an issue at all with this, and found everything they needed - quickly).

(This is also assuming you're in the USA).
posted by spinifex23 at 1:08 PM on June 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

If in 2016 your surgeon requested your records from the previous surgery, it is probable that those records were added to your (electronic, most likely) chart at that second hospital. So you may receive all the documents you need from a request to that second hospital, or at the very least you should find a note that references the first surgery, and where it took place.
posted by strivesc at 3:57 PM on June 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

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