Ever thought about, “How do I order my medical records in Washington D.C.?,” or “How can I access my medical records online?” Few things are more personal than your medical records. And regardless of why you want them (maybe you’re moving to a new city, seeking a new primary care provider or maybe you suspect medical malpractice), you should be able to obtain them quickly and easily.
In fact, getting a copy of your medical records is a legal right protected by HIPAA, the federal healthcare privacy law.
Unfortunately, just because it’s a legal right does not mean it’s always a straightforward process. In this post, we’ll discuss the process of obtaining your medical records in Washington DC, and what to be aware of throughout.
Let’s dive in.
How Do I Order My Medical Records in Washington DC?
“How can I access my medical records online?” “How do I get my medical records from my doctor?” “Can I look at my own medical records?”
If you’re asking these questions, you are not alone. Fortunately, you can get a copy of your records quickly by following these steps:
1. Know your rights
If you’re trying to obtain your medical records, you may run into providers who say it’s not their policy to provide patients with copies of medical records. While that response tends to stop record-seeking patients in their tracks, the practices are actually in the wrong. Either those practices do not know the law, or they are willfully ignoring it.
In every state, HIPAA protects a patient’s right to view their health and surgical information, obtain paper or electronic copies of their medical records, and petition to correct errors, inaccuracies, or incomplete information in medical records.
With this in mind, don’t take “no” for an answer from a medical provider. They’re required to provide you with copies of your record under the law, and you have a right to view all clinical notes, X-rays, lab results, and billing records.
2. Know who to request the records from
As a patient, you can request records directly from DC-based healthcare providers and facilities, clinics, hospitals, private practices, nursing homes, and urgent care centers. Depending on your needs, you can also request your records from government and private insurance providers and freestanding diagnostic labs.
If you are the parent of a minor or a legal guardian of someone else, you are considered a proxy for the patient. This means you have the legal right to request access to their medical records. Marriage, however, does not automatically make you a person’s personal representative. If you would like to be your spouse’s healthcare proxy, you’ll need to fill out the paperwork required by your state.
3. Understand the timeline
According to HIPAA, record requests should be completed within 30 days. In some states, however, providers are required to turn records around in less time than that. Maryland and California providers, for example, must deliver records within 21 days and 15 days, respectively.
If you request medical records that are not readily accessible for the provider, the provider is entitled to one 30-day extension. If your provider requires and is approved for an extension, they must provide you with an update in writing.
Remember that HIPAA is the law of the land when it comes to medical records requests. This means that, even if your state has its own record requests law, HIPA’s larger rules override them.
4. Understand the fee
Under HIPAA law, providers are entitled to charge a “reasonable fee” to cover the costs associated with producing and transmitting medical records. The fee may cover shipping costs, for example. It can not, however, cover the time spent searching for medical records. That said, keep your eyes open for “retrieval” or “handling” fees, which are likely illegal.
Obtain Your Medical Records
There’s no need to keep asking “how do I order my medical records in Washington D.C?” LawMD has everything you need to retrieve your medical records in Washington D.C.
LawMD has compiled a list of all major medical facilities in Washington D.C. and the best way to request your medical records from each! This valuable resource will save you hours of cutting through red tape.
Have questions? Contact LawMD today..
Washington D.C. Hospitals
Medical Record Release Forms
HSC does not offer online. You will need to call and request this form over the phone. The form will be emailed to you by one of the staff members.
United Medical Center does not offer forms online. You will need to call and request this form over the phone. The form will be emailed to you by one of the staff members.