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The Secret to Savings: Access to Medical Records

Tax season seems to bring on a frantic look in a lot of people’s eyes. Searching for documents, double-checking forms and filing returns are tasks that all endure and none enjoy. After the deadline, a common refrain can be heard almost anywhere:

“Next year, I’ll have all my stuff together in one place.”

As important and urgent as taxes are, there is something more pressing: your health.

Preparing for your annual “health audit” doesn’t take as much effort as preparing for taxes. It merely involves contacting specialists and former primary care physicians and requesting that they send copies of records to your current primary care physician. Medical Records Check Up 4-12-11

Better yet, keep a copy of records for yourself, so that you can add to it and take it with you to every doctor you may see in the future.

Gather your medical records under your primary care provider. It can result in lower health care expenses and earlier detection of potential problems.

Dr. Davis Liu, a family physician and author of "Stay Healthy, Live Longer and Spend Wisely," recently saved a patient the cost and hassle of an unnecessary exam that had been recommended by another doctor.

The key to the cost savings? Dr. Liu had access to all of her health records.

Unified, centralized records can be a hassle to collect, but once they are gathered in your primary doctor’s hands, he or she is much better equipped to treat any health issues you do have and to avoid spending a dime on any health issues you do not have.

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