Accessing Your Medical Records
Various state and federal laws allow patients to have direct access to their medical record information, either by reviewing the record, obtaining copies, or receiving a summary of their care. If you are interested in getting a copy of your medical records, you will need to contact the doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital where you were treated. In order for the office, clinic, or hospital to release your confidential medical record information, you will need to complete and sign some type of authorization for release of information form. Usually there is no charge for records to be sent to another doctor, hospital, or other medical facility for continuity of care. For all other requests, there will likely be a fee to scan or make photocopies of your medical record. For specific information about how to access your health information or to get a copy of your medical records, please contact your health care provider or doctor.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) gives individuals the right to see and get copies of their health information. Learn more about your rights under HIPAA to access your health information.
Accessing Your Health Information
Online Access to Your Health Information
Some hospitals, doctors’ offices, and clinics may provide access to a website that stores the personal medical records of their patients. Depending on the websites’ features and functions, you may be able to view your test results or a list of your medicines, access your medical records, schedule appointments, obtain follow-up instructions, pay bills, and refill prescriptions. Check with your health care providers or doctors to see if they offer online access to your medical records. Terms sometimes used to describe electronic access to these data include “personal health record,” or “PHR,” or “patient portal.”
OpenNotes is a national movement that invites patients, families, and health care professionals to come together and improve communication by more easily sharing doctors’ notes with patients. The movement aims to empower patients to become more involved in their care. Learn more about OpenNotes.
Access to Cost Information
- FAIR Health is a national independent, not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to bring transparency to health care costs and health insurance information through comprehensive data products and consumer resources.
- New Choice Health is a free, consumer-focused health care marketplace where consumers can shop for common medical procedures.
For more information, see:
- How Can I Access My Health Information/Medical Records?
- Health Information Privacy and the Office of Civil Rights
- What Is a Patient Portal?
- Learn about the Blue Button, another way for people to get their health records electronically.