Sending Medical Records
If you are a provider of healthcare services and need patient records, please complete the medical records release form and fax it to the referring provider’s office.
If a patient would like a copy of their record, we request a release form to be completed as well as a picture ID to be provided. You may visit any of our clinic locations to complete the form and make a request for any portion or a complete copy of your chart. A fee may be assessed at .25 cents per page based on the nature and size of the request.
Times arise when it's important for other professionals or family members have access to your medical information; this is primarily what a medical records release form is used for.
According to the Federal HIPAA Privacy Rule, your medical records are considered private and confidential. No one can see them without your express permission. Information that requires a medical records release form in order to be released to an outside party includes the following:
- Any information medical providers insert into your medical record
- Any conversations between medical staff regarding your medical care
- Any information about you that's stored in the computer system of your health insurance company
- Any financial information about you - such as bills - that your medical office has stored in its computer system
- Any health information about you that's stored by:
- Health insurance companies
- Medicare and Medicaid
- Health care providers
- Health care processing companies
This is a very strict and enforced privacy law that protects you, as a health care patient, from having your health information released to anyone without your permission.
Reasons for Releasing Medical Records?
While most people would rather no one knows about their health situation, there are many circumstances requiring outside companies or individuals to have access to information about your medical treatment, medicine that you're taking, and your health status. These entities that usually require some form of access to your medical records include:
- Health insurance companies
- State worker compensation boards
- State agencies
- Life insurance companies
- Family members acting as your caregiver
- Friends who may be assisting you with your health care needs
- When you switch to a new doctor
- When you're obtaining medical treatment from a new healthcare facility
These are only a few circumstances where outside organizations or individuals might need access to certain parts of your medical records in order to correctly provide you with appropriate medical care.
Where to Find Medical Records Release Forms
Typically, whenever someone needs to access information from your personal records that is considered "protected information" under the HIPAA Rule, they will usually have a medical records release form ready for you to fill out and sign. If they don't, and you need to find your own standard form, the following list may help.
Regardless of which form you choose to use - whether it's one provided by the organization that needs access to your records, or a form that you obtain yourself - it's important that you carefully consider when it's appropriate to release your medical records.
For example, there may be instances when a family member is your primary caregiver, spending each day administering medicine and helping you recover from an injury or illness. This is an example of a person who needs to know your health status, medicine changes, or other information contained within your medical records. It's appropriate to release your medical records in that case. However, there are also times when you may want to think twice about signing a release. For example, if an ex-spouse's lawyer is asking for access related to divorce proceedings or if an employers insurance company is asking for access related to your personal injury court case, you may want to consider talking to a lawyer before agreeing to release your medical records.