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WHEN do I have to respond to a patient record request?

                 May 12, 2015
 
Question:

Hello Jennifer:

I have a busy practice. Often I see patients and at the end of the encounter I sometimes get a request from the patient for a copy of my note from the visit. Sometimes it is because they have some sort of third party case and they want a copy to give their attorney. Other times I am not sure why they want it. What are the rules regarding patient records when the patient requests them and am I obligated to give a copy to the patient when they demand them.

Dr. O

Answer:

No, you are not obligated to give records on demand.  You are obligated to provide records to a patient, but the HIPAA rules stipulate you have 30 days to respond to a request (45 CFR 164.524).  You also are authorized to charge for the production -http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/faq/right_to_access_medical_records/353.html.  



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