Get Medical Records from your Hospital
How to Request Your Medical Records?
The HIPAA (federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) guarantees all patients a copy of their medical records within 30 days after their request. Patients can receive their medical records in any form, whether physical or digital. The record includes notes from doctors, medical test results, lab reports, and billing information.
Get your medical records
How do you get medical records from a hospital?
According to the HIPAA regulations, designed to protect the patient’s privacy, you have the right to request medical records if:
- you are the patient or the parent or guardian of the patient whose records are being requested;
- you are a caregiver or an advocate who has obtained written permission from the patient.
In some cases, the health care provider will grant a form that has to be filled in by the patient. While created to protect the patient’s privacy, though, these regulations also allow legal situations in which other individuals or organizations could request a medical record on the patient’s behalf.
For example a primary care physician or third-party covered entities to whom may have been granted the right to request the record when signing the patient intake or the registration form. These might be medical practitioners, organizations like insurance companies, hospitals, labs, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and billing providers.
Today, some patients are even requesting their medical information to be shared with mobile apps: under HIPAA, you have the right to request this feature with the understanding that the doctor who will release the information is not responsible for how the mobile app provider uses or secures your data.
For that very reason, it is in everyone’s interest to thoroughly read any medical registration or intake document to fully understand which rights are granted and with whom information may be shared.
How to Request Your Medical Records
Most hospitals or practices will ask you to fill out a form to acquire medical records. The form can usually be collected at the office or delivered by fax, postal service, or email. If the office doesn’t have a form, you can write a letter to get your medical record.
Be sure to include:
- Your full name
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Address and phone number
- Email address
- The list of records being requested
- The dates of service
- Delivery option (fax, post, email, in person)
Once the request is completed and sent, there may be a period of 30 to 60 days for it to be received and processed. We recommend to always keep a copy of the original request, and contact the State’s Department of Health in case of failed reception of the medical records after repeated attempts. It’s also important to know that patients may have to pay for the cost of their medical records if they want them delivered on paper, by fax, or via electronic media.