Order Your Medical Records 5 StepsSelecting medical records cartoon

Anyone who has moved has been confronted with the question “How to Order Your Medical Records?”.  Requesting your medical records may seem complex at first its simpler than one thinks.

1.  Get a HIPAA release form.  The federal law known as HIPAA  entitles every person the right to access his or her medical records, receive copies of them, and request amendments to them.


2, Select your records.  I would make this at least one month no more than 2 months This will give the office plenty of time to get you the records together. Specify the effective date, medical providers name, address, your name, address, medical record number ( you can get this from the staff) any identification numbers; i.e., Social Security Number or insurance ID number.

3.  Submit forms.  Fill out an authorization form giving one medical provider permission to share your records with another.Mark on that form which types of records you want included. Pay any fees that result.

4.  Wait.  The turnaround time under HIPAA can be 30 days. Most facilities, however, do not require that much time—many can fulfill a request in five to 10 days. Individual state laws may also dictate how quickly a facility must fulfill a request.

5. Follow up.  In an imperfect world things can go wrong.  What to do?

If your doctor has moved, you should be able to find your records at the practice she left. If that practice was affiliated with a hospital, the records may be housed within the hospital’s records system.

If your old provider says the records have been sent, but your new doctor’s office hasn’t received them, ask that they be re-sent. Doublecheck to make sure the old provider has the right contact information for your new one. You may find getting someone from your new doctor’s office involved could help. Having a nurse advocate for you, for instance, could put you in a better position.

If you’ve tried everything and are getting nowhere, offer to pick up the records yourself (but be aware that this may cost you), ask to speak with a manager or your doctor directly, or, as a final resort, contact your state medical board to file a complaint. This step is rarely necessary, but even suggesting you’ll have to go this route could get things moving on your request.

The Value of Requesting Your Records

There are many good reasons to request a copy of your medical records. Physicians don’t always share complete patient information or exchange a patient’s health records, so if a patient is seeing a new provider it is beneficial to ensure a copy of their record is sent to the new physician.. Also, it is beneficial for patients or caregivers dealing with multiple doctors and facilities to have all medical records in one place, which can then be used by providers to ensure thorough care.

Reviewing your record is an important way to ensure your provider has complete, correct, and up-to-date information, such as your known allergies. If you find information in your record that is incorrect or that you disagree with, contact the provider’s Health Info Management department.

Finally, it can be good for your health to keep a copy of your medical records, . Keeping an up-to-date copy of your health information will prevent redundant care, like repeat tests, and give all your physicians essential information about your health.


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