Is it within a patient’s legal rights to obtain their doctor’s (including a surgeon’s and a hospitalist’s) copy of medical notes about them?

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Is it within a patient’s legal rights to obtain their doctor’s (including a surgeon’s and a hospitalist’s) copy of medical notes about them?

Asked on May 10, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

With some exceptions, HIPPA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) gives you the right to inspect and receive a copy of your medical and billing records (includinng notes) held by insurers and health care providers. If you want a copy, you can request an electronic copy or obtain a hard copy if you pay for mailing,etc. Typically, you should receive them within 30 days.

If your health care provider will not give you access to your medical records, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. For further information, the following sites may be of help: HHS Office for Civil Rights, Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) privacy or OCR’s HIPAA FAQ database.


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