You Have the Right to Your Medical Records

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Access to personal medical records is guaranteed under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Under this law, patients can submit requests for their personal medical records. Once submitted, their doctors will be informed that copies of the records must be provided and accessible within 30 days.

Most healthcare providers may require you to fill out paperwork to request your records.  Healthcare providers may not charge you a fee for requesting your records, but they are allowed to charge “reasonable” fees for copying and printing any records.

There are limited cases where a health care may not release medical records. If your healthcare provider denies your request they have to record that denial and the reason for it. You have then have  a right to review and appeal that denial.  During the review and appeal  process, a healthcare professional that was not involved in the initial denial decision will review the decision and determine whether or not to grant you access.