Patients struggle to get their medical records after clinic abruptly closes
MURRAY, UT —
(KUTV) Ramona Koegler's treatment for multiple sclerosis has stalled. The Western Neurological clinic where she has been getting her body scanned suddenly shut its doors.
"I just felt like the carpet was pulled from underneath me," she said.
Now she can't get the clinic to hand over the scans.
"[My doctors] need all the MRIs that they have so that way they can keep track on what's going on with the nerves," Koegler said.
A sign on Western Neurological’ s door tells patients that Salt Lake Regional Hospital has assumed the records, but Koegler says she still can't get them.
She not giving up the fight because the scans are critical to her long term health.
"I won't take no for an answer,” she said. “It's my right to have those [scans]."
Court records appear to show that Western Neurological has been plagued with money issues. Multiple employees have filed lawsuits against the company alleging unpaid wages.
The company's owner is also being sued for fraud by people who invested in the company.
When Get Gephardt didn’t hear back to phone calls and emails left with Western Neurological, we stopped by the Millcreek office. The doors were locked but then we noticed someone coming and going through a side door.
It was owner, Jed Price. He explained that the business had suffered and electrical fire after a power surge that had fried much of the office, including the computer that held the records.
“That's why we transferred custodian of care to Salt Lake Regional," he said.
Price was adamant that it was an electrical surge, and not money, that led to Western Neurological shutting its doors.
He refused to answer questions about the lawsuits pending against him or his business.
Price also said that Western Neurological will be back, saying he plans to reopen “as soon as we get things figured out with the insurance company."
As for Koegler’s scans, he said many were corrupted in the power surge but that Salt Lake Regional was working on it.
That’s true, according to a Salt Lake Regional spokesperson. And they had some long-awaited good news for Koegler: After sorting out some technical problems with the files, they were finally able to recover her scans.
Koegler says she is thrilled, but is also learning from this experience that she should be housing copies of her medical records herself.
“It's my right to have my medical records because the only person that's going to stand up for myself is myself. I have to be my own advocate."
According to the Utah Dept. of Health, the only law that exists on medical records is that doctors must keep them, and keep them for a certain amount of time.
The best way to protect yourself is to ask your doctor for copies of your records, and keep them somewhere safe.