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Another Braces question

Ginger_SM's picture

OSD is getting braces, DH attempted calling to get treatment information as well as make payment arrangements on our side. The office said that BM has to authorize him to release information. So, we ask her to authorize as we would prefer making payments to the office directly. Also, unfortunately we have learned not to take BM's word for anything.  

She responds saying she will. Cool, fine. Well she sends text  back after saying they called back and cannot authorize anyone out of state. Basically we can call and make payments but we would still need to get information through  BM. I used to request medical records for a living so I call BS, but what experiences have others had? 


Maxwell09's picture

Call the Office, tell them your lawyer is faxing them the court order that says he has shared LEGAL rights and therefore they must share the child's medical information with him. Tell them if they refuse to allow him on to the account as are his rights then they forfeit coming to him for payments and must see BM to pay in Full. 

I bet they change their mind. 

Most schools and medical offices will give the generic "we need permission" because they would rather say no and not piss off the primary parent but when they start getting legal documents like court orders saying they have to share the info then they will loosen up. To be fair to them, bm probably didn't even put your DH's info on their paperwork and that's why they aren't so forthcoming. 

ndc's picture

I've gotten medical records released from out of state.  I don't believe BM.  Call the ortho office back and ask them if they've gotten what they need from BM to send you the information.  I'll bet it's BS that they can't send it.

Ginger_SM's picture

I used to request medical records for life insurance and law firms. I know how HIPAA works, I think that's why this is so aggravating to me. But I'm also a third party so it wouldn't even be much for me to call and pitch a fit. 

I was thinking of calling a local ortho and asking how they deal with this or recommendations. But I definitely like your idea Maxwell09. 

tog redux's picture

Wait - if you don't take BM's word for anything, why are you taking her word that they won't authorize it for out of state people?

Call their office back and, as Maxwell said, tell them you are faxing the court order authorizing DH to get all medical information, and that if they don't send the information, you will be getting your attorney involved.

Ginger_SM's picture

We were planning on calling them directly again but were unable to today because of the time difference. 

I did call a local to me orthodontics office and they said that different states have different laws but at the least they should be able to provide the information regarding his half of payment. They did also say because he did not sign anything he could essentially say he is unwilling to pay without information and payment would fall back on BM because she signed. Ultimately, that might cause more resentment but she really didn't consult with us prior like she is obligated to.... 

lieutenant_dad's picture

There are three ways to approach this:

One, pay what the orthodontist tells you to pay.

Two, don't pay and make BM take you to court for reimbursement. Let her explain to the court why she didn't authorize DH and why she didn't consult with him regarding braces. Make her produce medical records indicating SS needs braces and receipts for how much she paid. If you go this route, I would start stashing away money so you can pay it as soon as court is over in case they tell you that you need to pay it back to BM (which will likely happen).

Three, do as suggested above and inform the practice that they will be receiving a copy of the CO from DH's attorney (or from DH) stating that he has equal rights to medical information. If the practice still refuses to share, inform the state board of medicine/dental and/or the Attorney General's office. Then still don't pay and make BM either authorize you or take you to court.

If you do nothing, she'll take everything. Be bold and let her know you aren't playing her games.

thinkthrice's picture

gov't representative as sometimes they can help...iow tell you there's no such state law that says the dentist cant deal with you because you're out of state.  Don't do what Chef did... he took the Girhippo's word for it and ended up paying HER 200% of the bill.  (braces at 8 yrs old)

SteppedOut's picture

Good lord! 

My formerSO almost paid $2k (after insurance) for his daughter to get her wisdom teeth out. He was going to pay the full amount (no paperwork, just on her word) because his ex couldn't afford to pay half and, you know, his daughter was in soooo much pain. I had him get a second opinion, turns out she didn't even have her wisdom teeth yet they were just starting to bud. 

Lol, had he paid, imagine how amazing it would have been when she got her second or third set of wisdom teeth, LOL!

Ginger_SM's picture

Yeah, that is what we are trying to avoid. We don't want to pay more than we are responsible for and pay ahead if we want. My sister said her orthodontist was more than willing to help with splitting the bill, so I was hoping we could do something similar. 

It honestly would not surprise us if she is trying to get us to over pay even though she makes more than DH and me combined currently. 

My husband didn't even mention he was out of state so she obviously made that information known. But I couldn't see any state having a cannot release information to someone out of state.. especially just account balances that they are responsible for. 

SteppedOut's picture

Doesn't make logical sense that the office would say, "You have to pay, but we can't tell you how much." That is just not anywhere reasonable. 

justmakingthebest's picture

BM pulled this with SS. Send them the joint custody order and then file a complaint if they won't talk to you still. 

We decided against a complaint when the orthodontist instead wrote us a lovely letter about how it is never in the best interest of the child to hide medical information but their hands are tied and they wish that BM would allow SS's father access to his records but she continues to refuse. <-- that was way better than a complaint with the state. 

hereiam's picture

If your DH has joint legal custody, he has just as much right to the information as BM.

Thumper's picture

Ginger--You sound very scared and worried IF you do not take BM's word for it.

1. Where do you live that you cant call the dental office because of the time change? Do You live in Portland and mom in Bangalor India?

Have the court order section showing dad has joint custody, cover other parts: dh drivers license photo copied and fax it to the dental office. Be careful---BM may have a few minions there Sooo, ask for their billing office. Tell them you need a copy of their patient plan of service AND in the future DH will  1. mailing a check.2. mailing a money order OR giving them your atm for DH's portion of the payment. DO not agree to pay for entire, be very careful of what you sign by the dentist. Remember what you sign on a patient plan is a contract because you sign it.

NEVER give bm money directly .  She can very easily turn around and tell a Judge you never paid her for zip. Now your court ordered to double pay.

Be smart, cover your a** by paying all expenses directly with doctors, dentist, , dance teachers, school districts etc... and never be scared.



Ginger_SM's picture

No, she is two hours later and by the time my Husband read the message the office had closed. Not really scared and worried just want the situation to fit our needs as well. 

We told her we would rather pay the office directly and apparently that's all fine and dandy. But they won't provide any information to him directly because he is out of state. She did offer to send us the statement but we would prefer direct information. Also, if we have issues we would rather work directly with the office rather than adding contact with BM. 

I think that's our big thing. We don't really want to go through another legal thing but we want to ensure DH is fully protected.