Cloud, Minturn & Associates, LLC
Serving A Select Clientele With Personalized Service Since 1986

Getting Copies of Medical Records 
& Once Received How to Store Them

     You have the right to obtain copies of most medical records including doctors' notes, medical test results, lab reports and billing information. The secret is in knowing how to ask for these records.

     First, you must be the patient or the parent or guardian for the patient to make the request. Non-minor family members must request their own records. If you are a caregiver for someone elderly or disabled, you must have the proper written permission to gain access.

      Most providers ask you to fill out a form to request your records. You should be able to get this form by fax, email or mail, or by stopping by the provider's office. Once you return this form, you will pay a nominal fee to cover the cost of making copies and postage to have the records mailed to you.

      This process could take time, especially if the records are years old. Staff will have to go into the provider's record storage facility to search for them. Each state has its own laws about how much can be charged. Typically, it is a flat rate per page.     
      One way to avoid the cost may be to request your records as you receive services. Make it a habit to request copies of your chart as you leave the provider's office. Since the records have not yet been stored, you may not be charged anything for the copies.

      Storing your records: scan onto CDs. Keep one copy in your home and a duplicate with a trusted friend or relative in another state. That way, in case of a fire or other disaster, you'll have a good copy. Also keep the hard copies filed chronologically by service provider in binders that you keep in a secure place in your home.