Patient’s Guide to HIPAA – Basic Rights: Do I Want to See or Copy My Record?




You are reading the Patient’s Guide to HIPAA, FAQ 19

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FAQ 19: Do I Want to See or Copy My Record?

There are many reasons you might want to review your health record at your health care provider or insurer. Decide if any of these appeals to you:

• You plan to move to another city and want to bring your records to a new doctor so that the doctor has your current information on your first visit. You may not know who the new doctor is in advance so you cannot arrange a doctor-to-doctor transfer.

• You want a second opinion from another doctor and want to avoid having duplicate tests. If you have the records, you don’t have to let your first doctor know about the second opinion.

• You want to make sure that your new consulting doctor knows about earlier treatments and previous tests.

• You want to keep a permanent copy of all your health records in one place and in your possession.

• You are curious.

• You want to make sure that your children have your records because you think that something in your record (e.g., genetic information or family history that they may not know) may eventually be relevant to their treatment.

• You have given your medical power of attorney to your grandson, and you want him to have all of your records (not just those for your current treatment) so that he can make informed decisions or so he can obtain assistance in making choices. By the way, the records that you give to your grandson are not covered by HIPAA in his hands (except, perhaps, if he is a physician or other health care provider).

• You want to talk to a lawyer about medical malpractice and don’t want your health care provider to know about it.

• You think that there might be incorrect or irrelevant information in your record.

• You think that you are a victim of medical identity theft.

• You think that your insurance company improperly denied your claim, and you want to see the record about you that the company maintains.

• You think that your doctor or insurance company is lying to you.

• Any other reason or no reason. It is your right to see or have a copy of your record. You don’t need to have a reason. You do not have to tell anyone what your reason is.



Roadmap: Patient’s Guide to HIPAA: Part 2: Basic Patient Rights: Right to Inspect and Copy Your Record (FAQ 19 of 65)

Jump to list of FAQs 1-65 | See all of Part 2