YOUR RIGHT TO SEE AND COPY YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS
You have the right to see your medical records. You also have the right to get a copy of your medical records. These rights are often called the right of access to your medical record. Both the HIPAA Privacy Rule and Michigan law give you rights to your medical record. The HIPAA Privacy Rule sets standards that apply to records held by healthcare providers across the nation. Michigan law sets standards for records held by doctors, hospitals and other health care providers within the state. Most health care providers must follow both the HIPAA Privacy Rule and Michigan law. If a standard in Michigan law conflicts with a standard in the HIPAA Privacy Rule, your health care provider must follow the law that is the most protective of your rights.
HOW QUICKLY CAN I GET MY MEDICAL RECORD?
Your health care provider usually must let you see your medical record or give you a copy of it as promptly as the circumstances require and no later than 30 days after they receive your request. (Michigan Medical Records Access Act M.C.L.A. 333.26265) Your health care provider generally is allowed to charge you a fee for copying your record. The cost per page depends on the number of pages copied. They can also charge you the actual cost for postage if you have the copy mailed to you.
HOW DO I ASK FOR MY MEDICAL RECORD?
In Michigan, there are specific steps you must take to make sure that your provider must respond to your request for your medical record. Your request must be in writing, if your provider tells you that this is a requirement. You must sign your written request and date it. You must submit your request no more than 60 days after the date you signed it. You should ask your health care provider if they have other specific procedures for getting your medical record. Often, your provider has a form for requesting your medical record. You should use this form if one is available. You should also be able to get info from your health care provider’s Notice of Privacy Practices
WHAT DO I DO IF MY DOCTOR WON’T GIVE ME MY MEDICAL RECORD?
File a complaint. You have the right to file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if you believe your health care provider has violated your right to see, get a copy of, or amend your medical record. You can also file a written complaint about your doctor or other health care professional with the Michigan Department of Community Health, Bureau of Health Professions.
You can obtain a form for filing a complaint (called an “allegation form”) from:
Michigan Department of Community Health
Bureau of Health Professions
Complaint and Allegation Division
PO Box 30670
Lansing, MI 48909-8170
If you have any questions about getting your medical records please contact Samantha Moffett at Samantha@ambroselawgroup.com or call 248-624-5500