Do we have legal right to copies of our medical records?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by contessa, Sep 30, 2002.

  1. contessa

    contessa New Member

    I'm in sales so I know the average time span that someone really 'listens' is only 3 minutes. Now my average medical appointment is 60 -90 minutes. I wonder how much is being lost between conversation and medical notes. Any one asked for copies of their own medical records/notes and been able to get them? A long time ago I read that we do own our records and rights to them. I certainly would like to see the past 6 months worth.

    Just filed my appeal to the private disability company. They use the Department of Labor guidelines that state sales is a sedentary job. I wrote two entire pages rebutting the "sit on my a-- all day" impression. Included arm, neck, back, lower back, finger, eye strain etc. Hope this works. I still haven't found an attorney that will take on a private ins company. And all I have to be is unable to perform ONE aspect of my position. What a lot of hooey.

    Sorry for the rant - what makes this really upsetting is the same company grants 16 weeks of automatic disability for giving birth! When did childbirth become both an illness and a disablity. I think there's a lot of discrimination going on.
  2. contessa

    contessa New Member

    I'm in sales so I know the average time span that someone really 'listens' is only 3 minutes. Now my average medical appointment is 60 -90 minutes. I wonder how much is being lost between conversation and medical notes. Any one asked for copies of their own medical records/notes and been able to get them? A long time ago I read that we do own our records and rights to them. I certainly would like to see the past 6 months worth.

    Just filed my appeal to the private disability company. They use the Department of Labor guidelines that state sales is a sedentary job. I wrote two entire pages rebutting the "sit on my a-- all day" impression. Included arm, neck, back, lower back, finger, eye strain etc. Hope this works. I still haven't found an attorney that will take on a private ins company. And all I have to be is unable to perform ONE aspect of my position. What a lot of hooey.

    Sorry for the rant - what makes this really upsetting is the same company grants 16 weeks of automatic disability for giving birth! When did childbirth become both an illness and a disablity. I think there's a lot of discrimination going on.
  3. JaciBart

    JaciBart Member

    You should be able to get a copy, ask for all chart notes, I have done this in the past and been able to.

    I was in sales too and I loved it, I totally disagree with the assumption of the passivity of the job, also what about the psychological impact of the fact that the sales person is the revenue producing position in any company, the emotional responsibility of that alone is a lot to handle. I can remember looking at all of the employees I worked with and thinking all of their livelihood and the families of them are reliant on the sales person, namely I. I have been in companies that employ a lot of people and it all comes down to the sales person, we cannot every drop the ball, it is a big load to carry.

    Good luck!

    Jaci

    Jaci
  4. roro

    roro New Member

    They can charge you copy fees. One office wanted $50 for my son's records! Most places want about 50 cents a page. But if your like me (My file is about 3 inches thick) it can be a lot.
  5. allhart

    allhart New Member

    yes you have a legal right to your records but they have 24hrs to give them to you they can charge you anything they like and you must fill out a written signed request
    giving birth is a automatic 16 weeks oh my gose what the heck are they thinking i refused to even stay in the hosptial for more then 24 hrs i cant imagine if someone said you automatically get 16 weeks maybe the should talk to the rice picker in china who give birth pick up the baby and start working agin
  6. dorothy

    dorothy New Member

    I have collected my medical records from every doctor I have seen in the last 6 years. and a few from even b/4 that. Just call them and tell them you want a copy of your records. They may say "who is it for" thinking it's for another doctor and wanting to send it to them. You just tell them, they're for yourself. They will tell you to come in and sign a release form and whatever fee they charge and that's it. Most places i've delt with charged about $15.00. But the hospital charges by the page. So that can be a little pricy. But yes you have the right to your records and really should have them... I have a binder I keep all my records in. I can keep track of when and where I went and why. I also get a printout every year from the pharmacy. I use it for filing my taxes and then it goes in my bider as well. These records are very helpful.. You will be suprised at some stuff in there your doctor never told you, and also how little they may put in as well. Request your records and let us now what happens.

    Good luck
    Dorothy[This Message was Edited on 09/30/2002]
  7. Allen2

    Allen2 New Member

    for the excellent replies you've been given. I,too, have requested and received records from my docs plus I managed to keep my MRI and X-rays(who's to know, right?)Actually, I was never charged anything. Al
  8. cpalance

    cpalance New Member

    I am lucky because I just go in and make my own copies. I even answer the phone for them when they are busy.. But when I go to a new doctor I always ask for a copy of the doctors visit before I leave. That way they aren't making scads of copies for you and you can keep your own records up to date. It works for me, just a suggestion.

    Good Luck

    Cindy
  9. Lana56

    Lana56 New Member

    I have asked for my medical records and the doctor flatly refused.I made five calls fighting with them and would really like to know what i can do about it.When you have a chronis illness you need them.They would send it to another doctor,but I am not going to a new one now.Please help-what can I do?? thanks Lana
  10. dolsgirl

    dolsgirl New Member

    Your medical record is yours, but the doctors' office does have a right to charge for copies. It takes time, personnel to do this. BUT, I know from experience that the charts will frequently go to any doctor that has notes in a chart so that they are aware that copies are being had. Just an FYI to the docs and now to you. Make sure that when you go in with complaints, that the nurse WRITES what you're complaining about and it gets addressed. The doctors will usually dictate a letter into the chart, but make sure that you also get the notes that were taken at the time of your exams.
  11. garyandkim

    garyandkim New Member

    If you have an MRI or xray done ask before they do them. Many places will give you a free copy. We get all our records and results and films and hospital reports and surgery notes. We always keep copies of all and our docs now automatically fax them to us. If they forget we call and ask. Gary got STD, LTD and SSDI and he was in IT and sat most of the day. So, that sed job crap is just that. I do know that you can research the net on your companies carriers and see what courts have said they must accept. I know whit Gary's the court ordered them to accapt the words Non restorative sleep and a couple other things that Gary had reports from studies to prove. Gary was accepted a month before LTD was to start due to the words we used and the sleep studies and other tests and dotors notes.

    Good luck, Kim and Gary
  12. contessa

    contessa New Member

    Yep, the sedentary job is a real kicker. I am tempted to remind both people at the insurance companies that are doing the reviews, the doctors' (HA) included that I know their positions are also sedentary. I sent a long list of physical motions, positions, actions - lots of verbs to describe what happens in a sedentary job. Also emailed Human Services dept at my company and they refuse to get involved. Referred me back to insurance company. Ins company want HR to describe my job duties. Duties and physical motions are not the same thing. Again, I'm getting angrier and angrier at this entire process. Here I'm trying to be pro-active and guide my healing process and they are setting me back two years. Guess the anger is the worst because I am passive by nature. It's the wee hours again and I've had my four hours sleep for today.
  13. Katseye

    Katseye New Member

    They're your records and you have a legal right to review your chart or obtain copies. Yes, they can charge, however there's a maximum amount they can demand. (they can't make their car payment from patient's chart copies):) Most charge $1.00 per page (don't quote this, but I believe the max is $2.50 a page) If your doctor refuses, write to your state board of medicine; they'll help you get results pronto...... been there. They do want the complaint in writing vs. a phone call.
    By the way, if you merely let the doctor's office know your plan of action, they'll tap dance.
  14. Katseye

    Katseye New Member


    I've found some of the same records, ie: radiology, blood work, or surgery reports, are available at the hospitals for free ( let them know 24 hrs. prior ) Some are the same your doctor would otherwise charge for. If it is for your own records, as mine almost always are, some will require to know who is the requesting doctor . I've simply listed one of my many doctors to aviod a hassle.
    Hey, I'm basically an honest person, but I'm exhausted, beyond tired, of being jerked around by the medical profession. Yes, ther are good ones; no phone calls, please.
    You can also have your radiology reports faxed to you, ten days after the initial test.

    Best of luck to all
  15. garyandkim

    garyandkim New Member

    did at work and if he had to look rt, lt, up, dn and lifting, He got it wrong. They don't know or really care so we called his boss and had him correct his info. I'd talk to the person first if I were you. Like all you do and what you can't do. His boss said he only looked staight ahead. Yah, right. On a computer you have to look at papers to your Ft, Lt and you look up when people come in and talk and down if you drop something and so on. Stairs to walk, parking lot, meetings falling asleep and in pain due to chairs. Lifting paper reems to reload and all that is so normal you don't think about it. Concintration and having to reread to get it cause you forgot what you read and or are doing. The light affecting your eyes. Memory a biggie. No restorative sleep so you are falling asleep off and on. All that. Check everything out and make sure they write it up correctly. HR is suppose to be there for you so make sure you get the policies that say what they are to do and what STD, LTD and so on. But, be very nice and put it all in writing like E-mails from home so there is a record you can print out. Be preparied to fight bear. We still haven't been able to get Gary's office emptied due to Gary 10 months almost. He has to go due to security. Good luck and take care, Kim and Gary
  16. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    and you SHOULD~~~~~I have copies of everything....even the records from when I lived in the orphanage as a child and the infirmary records while I was living there as well. This is important stuff!

    Love,
    Kady
  17. Dara

    Dara New Member

    to copies of all of your medical records. Also you have the right to copies of anything your doctors sent into insurance companies, like STD,LTD, and SSD. I have found that my doctors so far have not charged me for copies of my medical records. They have charged the insurance companies for records though.

    Dara
  18. contessa

    contessa New Member

    You did exactly what I did. In my free-lance writing days I learned the power a particular work can convey. I also described the twisting, turning, bending, dialing, typing etc and the subsequent reactions on my muscles, joints and stress levels. My company is so afraid of law suits they haven't even discharged me yet (it's been six months). I have discovered that ERISA laws require the same regulations across the board: i.e. if a woman has a child and doesn't have to prove she is unable to perform her job, by law neither do I. I hate to go the lawsuit route but if they don't break loose soon I'm going to get tough. I only hesitate now because my hubby works for the same company and he loves his job (and the great insurance benefits we need). One act leads to another, and another - in the meantime I know I'm getting sicker from all this stress. Thanks for your input. You really know what you're talking about!!