How can I get access to my medical records?

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How can I get access to my medical records?

During the premature birth of my son it was discovered that my kidneys were not filtering. I was at a teaching hospital and although the doctor was supposed to refer me to a kidney specialist the referral never got sent. There was also nothing about any of the tests or problems in my discharge papers. My primary doctor told me that they will not do any of the tests or give me a referral until I have the records proving there’s a problem. I have been struggling for the past 5 months to get a copy of my records.

Asked on March 4, 2012 under Malpractice Law, South Carolina

Answers:

Robert Johnston / Law Office of Robert J. Johnston Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You have a legal right to your medical records. In South Carolina there is a state statute called the Physicians Patients Record Act. That particular statute states that you as a patient have a right to your records. The medical facility can require you to sign a release and they can charge you a small fee for copying.

Try contacting the facility and asking for a manager. Some people prefer to send a certified letter. Make it clear you want your records and are willing to sign a release and pay the copying fee. If you do not get any results, then you can contact the medical board in Columbia and they have a complaint form you can fill out and submit and they will follow up on it.

I would suggest you try the diplomatic approach first. If that doesn't work, tell them you will file a complaint with the medical board and give them a chance. If that still doesn't work, then you can file the complaint.

Good luck.

 


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