How to get copies of your medical/hospital records.


You have an absolute right to:
  1. Look at your medical/hospital records.

  2. Get a copy your medical/hospital records.

  3. Have your other doctors see or copy your medical/hospital records.


How to request to look at your medical/hospital records:

From the time you make a request to look at your medical/hospital records. The doctor or hospital must make them available for you to look at within 10 days.   If a doctor or hospital fails or refuses to make them available within that time they may be found guilty of Medical Misconduct and be brought up on charges.

Most doctors, hospitals and medical offices will require that you sign a request to look at the records.   They will normally have their own form for this.   If not, you can use this cover letter and Official Hipaa Authorization Form to ask to look at the records.   Instructions for filling out the Hipaa form.   You do not have the right to demand immediate access to the records.   If, however, you have a medical emergency, the doctor or facility should make them available if necessary for your proper treatment.

You can not be charged a fee to look at your records.

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How to get a copy of your medical/hospital records:

While there is no specific time in which a doctor or hospital must make you copies of your records, consider making a complaint if they have not been given to you within a month after you request/pay for the records.

Every doctor, hospital and medical office will require that you sign a request and usually a "HIPAA" authorization to get a copy of the records.   They may have their own form for this.   If not, you can use this this cover letter and Official Hipaa Authorization Form to ask to look at the records.   Instructions for filling out the Hipaa form.     If you are ordering records for someone who is deceased, you will also need to provide proper "Letters of Administration" from the Surrogate Court showing that you are the representative of the estate.

You can (and will) be charged .75¢ per page and you will almost always have to pay that before you get the records.  

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How to let other doctors see or copy your medical/hospital records:

Doctors and hospitals are usually very cooperative with each other regarding access to patients' files.   A simple phone call by your new doctor's office should be sufficient to allow her/him to look at or get copies of your medical records.   You are likely to have to sign an authorization permitting you old doctor to let your new doctor see or get copies of your records.

A doctor or hospital who refused to give access to your records for your new doctor may be found guilty of Medical Misconduct and be brought up on charges.   If she/he refuses to cooperate, file a complaint against the doctor.

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