Your Medical Records: Ask For Them!

Hospitals can be slow to respond for health records, writes CNN, which can cause serious problems if you’re moving a patient from one facility to another. Here are steps from that article on how to make sure you get your data as quickly as possible.

  1. Know your rights – hospitals have 30 days or less (it depends on which state you live in) to comply; make sure you provide a written request and that you confirm receipt. Also, learn the rules in your state about what can and can’t be provided.
  2. Try to go with providers who use electronic records – these are usually easier to access, and can sometimes be emailed to you.
  3. Ask for help from the new hospital – if a medical professional gets involved, the request will probably be given more attention.
  4. Be aggressive – that means get angry if you have to. Do your homework and know what your rights are in your state, and don’t take no for an answer. One person in the article had to play the lawyer card before the hospital started taking her request seriously. If the hospital won’t budge, writes CNN, file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Patients demand: ‘Give us our damned data'” [CNN]