What do you do if you want to get your medical records from a hospital or a medical provider and they won’t provide them to you? Well, first, what you want to do is you want to call them and ask them for the medical records. You want to fill out whatever HIPAA forms they want. You want to request these in writing. You want to offer and be able to pay the reasonable copying cost under Missouri Statutes Section 191 to get those, and Missouri and Illinois both have powerful statutes that if they refuse to provide medical records to you, you can sue them and a court can order them to give the medical records to you.
Now, what if it’s for a loved one who’s incapacitated, or what if it’s a family member, father or somebody, who’s deceased and you want to get those medical records? As the next of kin or the person representative of the estate or the representative of the family, you still are entitled to those records. Nothing in HIPAA, the Health Information Privacy and Portability Act, prevents them or makes it so that they can’t give you those records.
Now, however, getting records for a deceased person is very hard. I fight it all the time. I did a blog the other day where we had prepared a lawsuit and sent it to the hospital in order for them to give us the medical records of the gentleman who we’re trying to get the records for.
So, be insistent on getting your medical records. They have to give you all the records, not just the bills, not just the doctors’ notes, everything, cover to cover, the medical records, notes, tests, lab reports, X-rays, MRIs, CTs, other consulting physicians’ notes, notes they get from other people, and the seizure records, the bills. There are a whole host of stuff, and if it’s an electronic record, they have to give you that too.
Sometimes, what I do is I ask them to give it to me in a digital format, on a disk, or a thumb drive, or a zip drive, and then that saves you money on copying, but a health care provider owes a duty, and there are clear rules that mandate that they provide you your medical records in a reasonable timely fashion if you pay them a reasonable cost of copying, and that’s also set out on the statute, and the statutes also provide your right to get them.
If you ever have a problem, ultimately getting your medical records, you have a question about that, call me, Gary Burger at Burger Law on our toll-free number at 866-599-2222, in Illinois at 618-226-4811, or Missouri at 314-648-8348. Thank you.