YES, YOU DO HAVE A RIGHT TO YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS
PART III: PHOTOCOPIES WITHIN 15 CALENDAR DAYS
In my prior posts, I discussed that you actually have multiple laws that entitle you to your medical records, and if you live in California, the Patient Access to Health Records Act is a state law that provides“access to health care records or summaries of those records by patients and by those persons having responsibility for decisions respecting the health care of others”.
In the last post, I discussed how California’s Health and Safety Code, Section 123110(a) allows patients to physically inspect their records within 5 working days of a written request. In this post, I will look at subsection (b) of that same code section, which states in part:
“….any patient or patient’s representative shall be entitled to copies of all or any portion of the patient records that he or she has a right to inspect,
upon presenting a written request to the health care provider specifying the records to be copied, together with a fee to defray the cost of copying, that shall not exceed twenty-five cents ($0.25) per page or fifty cents ($0.50) per page for records that are copied from microfilm and any additional reasonable clerical costs incurred in making the records available.
The health care provider shall ensure that the copies are transmitted within 15 days after receiving the written request.”
This means that a patient is entitled to photocopies of any records the patient is entitled to inspect, as indicated in subsection (a). The patient must give the doctor a written request, describe the records requested, and pay the fee for copies and related clerical costs (which must be reasonable).
The doctor must be sure the “COPIES ARE TRANSMITTED WITHIN 15 DAYS AFTER RECEIVING THE WRITTEN REQUEST” for the inspection. Health & Safety Code, Section 123110(b) (emphasis added).
There are also many other sources of law dealing with your rights to access your own medical records. As stated in my prior posts, the rights you have, and the way(s) you can enforce those rights, can vary based on your particular circumstances, so if you have any questions, or have encountered difficulties obtaining your records, you should contact an attorney for individualized advice.
(The above is being provided for informational purposes only, and does not constitute, nor substitute for, personalized legal advice.)