Medical record with stethoscope on keyboard

How Insurers “Cherry-Pick” Medical Records to Deny Claims

Arnett & Arnett, PC  Nov. 15, 2023

The legal hurdles faced by individuals with disabilities in Arizona are overwhelming. In the complex and frustrating world of disability claims, it can tempting to just give up. Trying to secure the benefits you rightfully deserve can feel like an uphill battle. 

We understand the emotional and financial stress that you’re going through. This burden can feel even heavier when insurance companies aren’t playing by the rules. At our law firm, we’re dedicated to helping you level the playing field. 

Contact our law firm—Arnett & Arnett, PC—for professional and personal counsel throughout all of Arizona. The more knowledge you have about insurance companies and their tactics, the better. Your rights and your future are our top priorities. 

What’s in Your Medical Records Can Affect Disability Claims 

When filing a disability claim, insurers don’t always play fair. For example, they’ll scrutinize your medical records to assess the validity and severity of your condition. It's essential to understand what information insurance companies are really looking for in your medical records.

Medical records should certainly reflect your medical history, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis—and reflect this information accurately. Your records should provide a comprehensive and detailed picture of your disability and how it impacts your daily life. This is crucial for both Social Security and long-term disability claims.

While it's essential to be transparent and provide all relevant medical records, it's equally important not to provide unnecessary information that might be used against you. You should only provide the medical records required for your claim. Including extraneous information may potentially give insurers more opportunities to "cherry-pick" records that don't really reflect the true nature of your disability. 

Consult with an experienced attorney to help you determine which records are essential for your claim and to ensure you present your case in the best light possible. 

Why Do Insurers “Cherry-Pick” Medical Records to Deny Claims? 

The term "cherry-picking" refers to the practice of insurance companies selectively choosing specific medical records or portions of records to deny disability claims. This practice allows insurers to present a biased view of your condition, which may not accurately represent your actual disability. 

Insurance companies have a financial incentive to minimize their payout. Your insurance company will search for inconsistencies or discrepancies in your medical records, even if these discrepancies are unrelated to your disability. By cherry-picking specific records, they can cast doubt on the legitimacy of your claim, making it easier for them to deny it. Ultimately, while insurance adjusters may sound friendly on the phone, they are looking to protect the company’s bottom line. 

Options If Your Claim Is Denied 

If your disability claim has been unjustly denied based on cherry-picked medical records, you have options. No matter what, your first step after a denied claim should always be to hire an experienced disability claims attorney.  

In Arizona, as in most states, you have the right to appeal the denial of your disability claim. The appeals process can be complicated, involving multiple stages and requirements. A disability lawyer can guide you through this process, ensuring that your case is presented effectively and that your rights are protected every step of the way.

The appeals process typically includes:  

  • a reconsideration,  

  • a hearing before an administrative law judge, and, if necessary,  

  • an appeal to a federal court.  

An attorney can help you explore your options, gather counter-evidence, challenge the insurer's decision, and build a strong case. 

The Importance of Knowledgeable Counsel

At Arnett & Arnett, PC, our team understands the frustration and challenges that come with the disability claims process. We have a long history of helping individuals like you uphold their rights and pursue the benefits they deserve. Our experienced disability claims attorneys are well-versed in the tactics used by insurers, including cherry-picking medical records. We know how important it is that you have someone standing on your side, fighting on your behalf. 

Don't let insurers' unfair practices deter you from seeking the benefits you're entitled to. If you've faced an unjust denial of your disability claim based on cherry-picked medical records, we are here to help. Contact our team in Chandler, Arizona, for a one-on-one consultation. We are honored to help clients throughout Arizona, including Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff.