There are a wealth of reasons why someone might need to access their medical records. It could be due to a medical malpractice case, or a personal injury case. It could be due to concerns about your own health. It could be due to the need to visit a specialist or simply to change to a new primary care doctor.
Whatever the reason, securing your records shouldn’t be difficult. After all, they are your records and you do have the right to see them. Unfortunately, it often seems that everything is too complicated, and a little education is never a bad thing. Learn about your rights and limitations under the law when it comes to securing your medical records, whether for personal or legal needs.
Your Medical Records and Your HIPAA Rights
There is a law on the books called HIPPA, which stands for the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act. This law is a federal statute which serves a number of purposes related to protecting the privacy of patients and their doctors. It also, however, guarantees the rights of a patient to access their records, but for a few exceptions.
Under this law, you may request your own records, the records of someone who has designated you (in writing) as their personal representative, the records of someone over whom you’re the legal guardian, your children’s records, or the records of someone who is deceased if you are the estate’s representative, or you are a relative who needs the records for matters related to your own health.
Exceptions to the Rules
Exceptions to these rules include when a child receives medical care to which they have consented, in a circumstance where your consent isn’t required. In addition, if you have agreed that your child has a confidential relationship with the physician, you don’t have access to those records. Finally, if the child receives care via court order or court discretion, the records are confidential.
When it comes to your records, there are also certain situations where they might be withheld. First, psychotherapy notes may be withheld. The provider may also withhold records if they are being used or compiled for a court case, or if they believe access to the records poses a danger to your life or safety or the safety of another person.
Usually, accessing the records requires submitting a written request to the proper persons, including your contact information, a waiver, and potentially your social security number, as well as the records you want and the reasons for your need. The provider then has 30 days to provide the records and must notify you if there will be a delay.
Calling an Attorney
If you need your records and are having difficulty getting someone to follow through, or have been denied, a personal injury attorney might be able to help. The right lawyer knows the steps and channels to take to get you the records you need for your injury case or personal requirements. If you’re in Alabama and are in need of help with your medical records, contact Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys for help today.