POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 20, 2011
QUESTION: Whatever happened to the plan to release an estimated 80,000 patient records from the former Honolulu Medical Group, one of Hawaii's oldest physicians clinics?
ANSWER: Attorney James Wagner said the process is continuing to get all requested records to patients by a July 11 deadline, when all records will be destroyed.
After paying a $42 fee, patients should expect a 60- to 90-day turnaround period to receive their records, Wagner said.
A website where patients can request their records has been created at http://honmed.com.
The Honolulu Medical Group once claimed to be the state's largest multispecialty clinic and traced its history back 106 years when it was founded as Hawaii's first physician group by Dr. James Judd and Dr. W.D. Baldwin.
By 2009, the Honolulu Medical Group's roster of 40 physicians had dwindled to just 11 and the group filed for bankruptcy protection, saying it owed creditors more than $1 million.
Longtime patient Maria Mee, 86, said she paid her $42 records fee in September and that her check was cashed that month. She still has not received her records.
"There's no way to talk to them -- no phone number whatsoever," Mee said. "All of my doctors worked for Honolulu Medical, but they can't even get my records."
Mee's eye doctor, who used to be with the Honolulu Medical Group, wants Mee to undergo a biopsy for a growth on her eye, which would follow a similar biopsy the doctor performed in 2006.
"It would help if the doctor can see his old records," Mee said.
The state Office of Consumer Protection has not received any complaints about Honolulu Medical Group patients not receiving their records.
But the agency's executive director, Stephen Levins, was concerned about Mee's situation when he was contacted by the Star-Advertiser.
"If people had paid their money and they're not getting records, they should file a complaint with our office" by calling 587-3222, Levins said.
"I'm concerned that someone has paid in September and here it is three months later and they still have not received their requests," Levins said. "That seems to be excessive. The records aren't in Siberia."
This update was written by Dan Nakaso. To suggest a topic for "Whatever Happened To ...", write the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210, Honolulu 96813; call 529-4747; or e-mail cityeditors@ staradvertiser.com.