Medical Records

What does Medical Records mean?

Medical records are documents detailing the health care services a patient received from a doctor or hospital. Medical records are considered legal, personal and confidential. The amount of medical information varies based on the services received but can include a patient's health history, physical exams, lab tests, medications prescribed, plan for further care, nursing notes, physician notes and procedure notes.

Medical records can be accessed by authorized individuals including you, your parent (if you are younger than 18 years of age), a patient's legal guardian (with proof of guardianship), and anyone who has legal power of attorney over the patient. If someone dies their medical records may also be provided to the executor of their estate, their legal representative or their next of kin after the appropriate legal documentation requesting access to the records is presented to the medical provider.

Medical records can be requested by doctors from other doctors at no charge. If you need a copy of your medical records you also have the right to request a copy, but some states allow doctors to charge a fixed amount to make copies. For example, if you are filing a medical malpractice claim and your lawyer or insurance company wants a copy of your medical records the medical practitioner is allowed to request a prepaid fee. Other requests made by the Department of Job and Family Services, the Veteran's Administration or from the Social Security Administration will be filled at no charge to the patient.

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