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amberpep
@amberpep

Posts: 610
Joined: Jul 02, 2012

~ Who "owns" my medical records? ~

Posted by @amberpep, Oct 22, 2016

I moved to a different state a year ago, which meant changing all my doctors, except for my therapist. I filled out the appropriate paperwork so that with each new doctor I went to, they would get my records. I have only had to see a Family Doctor once for IBS, shortly after I got here, and so I had my records transferred to him …. he seems competent and a nice enough chap. In the records are several copies of all the medications I take and why. Well, I have not been sick since I saw him, but have needed 2 new Rx’s for 2 medications I take … a statin drug, and propanalol. He refuses to authorize Rx’s for them unless I come in, and get a complete physical. I just did that before I left my other state!
I have had it as I think this is unreasonable ….. I am planning on calling their office in the morning and asking to have my medical records; then when I find another doctor – hopefully an Internist – I will give them to him or her.
Are they obligated to give these records to me? Will they give me a hard time? I’ll probably have to pay for them, but aren’t they “my” records?
abby

REPLY

Hi @amberpep Nice to e-meet you here. I am neither a medical professional nor an attorney at law so I only speak from our experience. All our doctors require a physical once a year or they will not prescribe. We also moved between states and our only expense for a records move was the cost of copying them.

Best of everything to you.

@amberpep I speak in the same way that Scott has in that I’m not a medical or legal professional. Perhaps an attorney could answer your question from a legal standpoint. I can speak, however, as a regular consumer of medical services that I believe that a physical once a year is probably “rule of thumb” for the medical profession. It is undoubtedly a good idea for the patient as well.

@amberpep Welcome to Connect!!
I have a great deal of experience with this topic. I am not an attorney and each state is different but I worked for the FBI for Medicare fraud and abuse along with owning my own healthcare company.

1. The medical records upkeep and safety and storage is the sole responsibility of the dictating medical facility. For example: My clinic must keep records for 5 years. Once those 5 years expire we can either destroy them or offer the to the patient 100%

2. It does not matter what physician you see but you must have face to face encounter with the order/prescribing physician on a regular and on going basis. Your health is forever changing and in order for the doctor to prescribe medication he has to see you.

I understand you just seen a md but you are asking a new doctor to treat you.

Hope this helps
Dawn

I guess I’m a cynic, probably because I’ve come here from outside D.C. (where everyone is a cynic), but things like this make me think that they just want the extra $$ especially since my records clearly show I just had one before I moved. If I ask for my records, and not see them anymore, am I allowed to have them? They are after all, mine?
Thanks all very much,
abby

@amberpep
Yes they have to provide you a copy of your records.

Insurance companies are the driver of the requirement of a face to face visit with the prescribing md. Some insurance companies in some states require the patient see’s the prescribing md every 90days. Some 1x every 12 months. Each insurance company has their own set of guidelines.

Who do the records belong to? Completely up to the laws of each state. Some say no, they are the dictating facilities because they created them but yes they are about you. Others say yes they are yours. I would check with your state or an attorney in your state.

Best of luck
Dawn

@amberpep

I guess I’m a cynic, probably because I’ve come here from outside D.C. (where everyone is a cynic), but things like this make me think that they just want the extra $$ especially since my records clearly show I just had one before I moved. If I ask for my records, and not see them anymore, am I allowed to have them? They are after all, mine?
Thanks all very much,
abby

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Hi @amberpep, I suppose you are aware that each time you have lab work, CT scans, MRIs, etc. you can get a paper copy of the report and keep your own medical records (you can also request a disc of CT scans, MRIs, etc.). There is usually no charge for the first copy of a report or a disc. The hospital systems in SE Michigan have “My Chart” where test results post electronically. I “save” my results to a flash drive and usually print off a copy. It has been invaluable when I’ve visited a new doctor to have those records with me. It also provides me with a way to get more information and explanations about the test results. I’m sure though, that most physicians will require the annual physical before writing scripts. Hope these ideas help you.

Hopeful …. no I didn’t realize that. I have copies of each step when I had a TKR – the graphic pictures …. but otherwise, I’ve never asked for nor been given copies of anything else.
This doctor (one in a practice of about 12) was so disinterested that I barely had time to tell him what was going on. It was what I call conveyor belt medicine. I won’t be going back to that practice, no matter who else I’d get. Some of the others may be quite good, but he sure was not.
I’d like to find an Internist – preferably female – but down here where I am it seems they’re like hen’s teeth to find. I am going to call tomorrow and ask for copies of all my records and see what they say. I don’t mind paying a nominal fee for them. So, we’ll see what happens then.
Thanks everyone,
abby

@amberpep

Hopeful …. no I didn’t realize that. I have copies of each step when I had a TKR – the graphic pictures …. but otherwise, I’ve never asked for nor been given copies of anything else.
This doctor (one in a practice of about 12) was so disinterested that I barely had time to tell him what was going on. It was what I call conveyor belt medicine. I won’t be going back to that practice, no matter who else I’d get. Some of the others may be quite good, but he sure was not.
I’d like to find an Internist – preferably female – but down here where I am it seems they’re like hen’s teeth to find. I am going to call tomorrow and ask for copies of all my records and see what they say. I don’t mind paying a nominal fee for them. So, we’ll see what happens then.
Thanks everyone,
abby

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@amberpep If possible, you might try to connect with a doctor in a large medical center affiliated with a university or other research facility. They tend to have good people as well as good protocol and procedures. Even if you have to drive an hour to get there, it might be worth it to you. You appear to be a sophisticated consumer of medical treatment and this might work well for you. Best wishes!

All medical records are yours. Every time I go to see my doctors I get copies of all test and check ups. Find out if your doctors have a portal if they do they will post your history, the same goes for any lab you go to for blood work get the reports so you can read them your self. I have f4 cirrhosis and liver cancer along with a host of other problems but I make sure i keep all my records in a binder tabbed for each doctor, also if you get any mri, cat or ultrsound test get the disk and written report. It is your life and health so you have to be in control and if the doctor don’t like it find a different doctor. Good luck and let me know how it works out for you

@sara1257

All medical records are yours. Every time I go to see my doctors I get copies of all test and check ups. Find out if your doctors have a portal if they do they will post your history, the same goes for any lab you go to for blood work get the reports so you can read them your self. I have f4 cirrhosis and liver cancer along with a host of other problems but I make sure i keep all my records in a binder tabbed for each doctor, also if you get any mri, cat or ultrsound test get the disk and written report. It is your life and health so you have to be in control and if the doctor don’t like it find a different doctor. Good luck and let me know how it works out for you

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Thanks for your post, @sara1257. You are very wise, your binder sounds like a good idea! I keep mine in clear plastic folders. I label the top with the category of test (cardiac, pulmonary, etc.). Whatever method you use is great. The patient portal represents the “My Chart” that I mentioned. Every test result becomes available shortly after the results are obtained. Organization is important when you are dealing with multiple health problems! These should represent good tips for @amberpep for the future!

@sara1257

All medical records are yours. Every time I go to see my doctors I get copies of all test and check ups. Find out if your doctors have a portal if they do they will post your history, the same goes for any lab you go to for blood work get the reports so you can read them your self. I have f4 cirrhosis and liver cancer along with a host of other problems but I make sure i keep all my records in a binder tabbed for each doctor, also if you get any mri, cat or ultrsound test get the disk and written report. It is your life and health so you have to be in control and if the doctor don’t like it find a different doctor. Good luck and let me know how it works out for you

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Thanks to all of you ….. you’ve given me some very good tips and ideas. And yes, while I live in an area that has so/so medical facilities, I am only over 2 mountains away from Charlottesville, VA …. where Univ. of VA Medical Center is. That might be the place to go for an Internist.
Thanks everyone.
abby

Sara ….. you are very wise in doing that. I wish I’d have done that from the very beginning ….. very smart thinking!
abby

@sara1257

All medical records are yours. Every time I go to see my doctors I get copies of all test and check ups. Find out if your doctors have a portal if they do they will post your history, the same goes for any lab you go to for blood work get the reports so you can read them your self. I have f4 cirrhosis and liver cancer along with a host of other problems but I make sure i keep all my records in a binder tabbed for each doctor, also if you get any mri, cat or ultrsound test get the disk and written report. It is your life and health so you have to be in control and if the doctor don’t like it find a different doctor. Good luck and let me know how it works out for you

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@amberpep I’m glad to hear that you are near a university medical center (only over two mountains?). Once again best wishes as you seek help from a good physician.

@amberpep

Sara ….. you are very wise in doing that. I wish I’d have done that from the very beginning ….. very smart thinking!
abby

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Amber, if you have IBS I would go to a gastroenterologist they deal with all the internal organs liver, stomach, pancreas and so on. Like i said before I have liver problems so I changed from a GI to a hepatologist at the university of miami miller school of medicine which is about 1.5 hrs away but it is worth it to deal with the right doctor. Good luck Talk soon

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