HIPPA question

  1. I have a question about HIPPA rules. Is there a generalized HIPPA rule about a patient accessing their medical records? More specifically, if a patient wants to get a copy of their medical records from their primary doctor's office do they have this right? My husband went to his doctors office and tried to get a copy of his records b/c he is switching primary care physicians. They told him that he would have to sign the form, the doctor would have to review it ( and the doctor would decide if he would release the medical records to the patient). Now I understand the doctor being required to review it and sign the form also, but doesn't the patient have a right to his medical records also? Can the physician have the power to say no...you can not have a copy? Thanks for any help.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   L&Dnurse2Be
    It is my understanding that as long as the patient fills out the form requesting the records, they should receive them.
  4. by   tridil2000
    Quote from limabean
    I have a question about HIPPA rules. Is there a generalized HIPPA rule about a patient accessing their medical records? More specifically, if a patient wants to get a copy of their medical records from their primary doctor's office do they have this right? My husband went to his doctors office and tried to get a copy of his records b/c he is switching primary care physicians. They told him that he would have to sign the form, the doctor would have to review it ( and the doctor would decide if he would release the medical records to the patient). Now I understand the doctor being required to review it and sign the form also, but doesn't the patient have a right to his medical records also? Can the physician have the power to say no...you can not have a copy? Thanks for any help.
    the pt always has a right to his or her own medical records.
  5. by   Turd.Ferguson
    As a former HIPAA privacy officer....

    HIPAA requires that a patient (or his legal representative) has a right to access his/her medical records, usually within 30 days, except under certain conditions, for example, certain mental illnesses.

    So the short answer is yes, the physician can refuse. But, she/he should have a legal reason to keep your records from you. You would have the right to get an explanation as to why your records are being kept from you. And as always, if any law is broken you can contact the U.S. Health and Human Services department.
  6. by   sirI
    Quote from limabean
    i have a question about hippa rules. is there a generalized hippa rule about a patient accessing their medical records? more specifically, if a patient wants to get a copy of their medical records from their primary doctor's office do they have this right? my husband went to his doctors office and tried to get a copy of his records b/c he is switching primary care physicians. they told him that he would have to sign the form, the doctor would have to review it ( and the doctor would decide if he would release the medical records to the patient). now i understand the doctor being required to review it and sign the form also, but doesn't the patient have a right to his medical records also? can the physician have the power to say no...you can not have a copy? thanks for any help.
    hello, limabean.

    yes, the patient has a right to receive the medical records at the physician's office. each office/facility has a privacy officer (po). when these requests are made, the po should review the written request, then, the patient may receive the medical records. no one can be denied access. if your husband has a problem, this should be reported. some areas do not require the po to review. but, the facility has a right to allow the po to review the request.

    if he is denied access, he can file a complaint with the u.s. department of health and human service's office of civil rights. your state's medical privacy law might also enable you to file a complaint with state regulators.

    u.s. department of health and human services
    office of civil rights
    200 independence avenue, s.w.
    washington, d.c., 20201
    phone: (866) 627-7748
    web: www.hhs.gov

    to link to medical boards in the 50 states, the american medical association.

    www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/printcat/2645.html

    hipaa faq

    http://www.hipaadvisory.com/action/faqs/faq_main.htm

    hopes this helps you.
  7. by   sirI
    I did leave out the part regarding receiving medical records and mental illness/psychiatric issues. If this information could potentially harm the patient, it is not released to said patient. In some instances, an attorney made need to ask the court to decide if this part of the medical record should be provided to the patient.

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