Can a former doctor refrain from sending my medical records to my new doctor if I owe him an outstanding balance?

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Can a former doctor refrain from sending my medical records to my new doctor if I owe him an outstanding balance?

Asked on June 2, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) gives a patient the right to inspect and receive a copy of their medical records and billing records that are held by health plans and health care providers (covered by the Act). If you want a copy of your medical records, you may need to pay for copies and mailing. If you request an electronic copy of your record, your doctor is required to provide you with such a copy to the extent it is readily producible. In most cases, you should get your copies within 30 days.

A provider cannot deny you a copy of your records because you have not paid for the health services you have received. If you believe that your doctor has violated your health information privacy right by refusing to give you access to your medical records, you can file a HIPAA Privacy Rule Complaint with the US Department of Health and Human Services at the HHS Office for Civil Rights. For more information about your right to access your records, visit the HHS Office for Civil Rights.


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