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Doctor Holding Up His Hand

(The following is being provided for informational purposes only, and does not constitute, nor substitute for, personalized legal advice.)

Well, actually, you have rights (plural) to your medical records. Where you live, or where you have treated, can have an impact on what your rights actually are.

Most people have heard of “HIPAA” (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which is a federal law (from the United States level of government) designed to help you get easier access to your own records, and make it harder for others to access your records.

In addition to this and other types of federal laws, many states give you the right to access your records, or get copies of your records sent to you or a doctor of your choosing, and may even set deadlines for these requests to be completed.

If you live in California, for example, you may have heard of “PAHRA” (the Patient Access to Health Records Act), which is a state law designed to provide “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”.

As stated above, 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.

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