Tips for Seeking Medical Records From a Hospital

When you are contemplating legal action against a hospital, it will be helpful to have your medical records to show your attorney. Here are some tips for obtaining your medical records from a hospital.

Know Your Rights to Your Records

The federal law called HIPAA allows everyone the right to access their medical records. If a hospital believes that legal action against it may be imminent, it may try to use its own policies to frustrate you in exercising this right. Hospitals may have their own policies for distributing medical records, but they must be in accordance with federal laws. It is vital to know exactly what the federal and state laws are so that you can navigate the process for dealing with the hospital. You must be able to point out to them if they are not following the law.

Fees Charged By Hospitals Must Be Reasonable

The hospital has the right to charge you to make copies of your records and provide them to you. However, those fees can only cover the labor of the hospital employees who are copying the records. The hospital cannot charge you on a per page basis. The hospital much also inform you in advance exactly what their charges will be for providing you with your records. In addition, federal guidance is also attempting to limit what, if anything, patients can be charged for electronic access to their records.

Your Right Is Not Unlimited

While Las Vegas injury attorneys can help advise you how to get your medical records, you do not have the right to everything in a hospital’s files. They do not have to provide you with psychotherapy notes. Nor do they have to provide you with things in your file that the hospital has compiled with an eye towards litigation. That is attorney-client privileged. A lawyer can help you figure out what the hospital has the right to withhold and what they must produce to you upon your request.