Access to Medical Records Now Less Painful

Scartelli Olszewski P.C.

Anyone who has tried to get their own medical records knows it can be more of a pain than the condition that generated the records in the first place! The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has produced a remedy to lessen the bureaucratic red tape for patients who seek access to their medical records.Until now, patients who sought their own medical records would often face questions from providers about why the records were needed.

This can be uncomfortable, especially if the records are sought in order to explore a medical malpractice lawsuit. According to a new regulation, patients have new rights when it comes to obtaining medical records.Here is what you need to know about this new law found at 45 CFR 164.524:

  • Doctors and hospitals cannot ask why you want your records.
  • If you request the records to be mailed they must comply – they cannot force you to use a web portal because not everyone has internet access.
  • Records must be provided within 30 calendar days. If there is a delay, you must be notified – this means you are no longer sitting around for months waiting for your records.
  • There are no longer any fees for searching, storing, or retrieving your medical records .

The importance of this new regulation cannot be overstated. It shows how the United States government and the Department of Health and Human Services are developing and changing to reflect the times we are now living in. They are making common sense legislation to enhance patients’ rights, including the right to a patient’s own medical record. This is an important victory for patients. One can only hope this will promote more transparency in communication between physicians and patients.To learn more about this new rule and how it may affect you or someone you know, please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website at www.hhs.gov. Learn about your rights and how they pertain to this new ruling.Do you or someone you know need legal advice regarding a potential medical malpractice lawsuit? Have you been harmed by the people who are meant to ensure your health and well-being? If so, do not hesitate to call the attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. and get the best advice you can from knowledgeable and aggressive medical malpractice attorneys in northeast Pennsylvania. Fighting for patients’ rights is what we do every day. We are a team that is small enough to care, but large enough to win.™