Requesting Your Medical Records
A Guide to Requesting Your Medical Records: How To
Question # 1: What forms do I need to request my medical records and bills?
Answer: You will need a HIPAA form and then what we call a HITECH letter in order to request all records and bills.
Question #2: Where can you get a sample HIPAA form and a sample HITECH letter?
Answer: You can find a HIPAA form and a HITECH letter right here on our website. We can always mail or email blank forms directly to you. Just give us a call at (888) 550.4026 if you need the form sent to you.
Question #3: Can you obtain the HIPAA forms from the provider’s website?
Answer: Yes, depending on the provider.
Question #4: Do all providers use the same HIPAA form?
Answer: No. Normally every provider has their own that follows the rules for their facility.
Question#5: Will a generic HIPAA form work for every provider?
Answer: Yes, if the correct wording is put in place. That is why we suggest using our generic form.
Question # 6: Where do I request my medical records and bills?
Answer: You want to request them from the facility/doctor that you visited. Contact the doctor’s office and ask them directly. Every facility will have a records department and a billing department, so contact the records department first and find out where they would suggest you mail or drop off the request.
Question #7: Can I request my medical records from the same place I request my medical bills?
Answer: That depends on the facility or the doctor’s office. We suggest calling and speaking with the medical records department first because they will be able to answer that question right away. Simply ask if when sending your request for records, if you would send your billing requests to the same fax number or mailing address.
Question # 8: If I’ve gone to the emergency room and I request my medical records from the hospital, does that mean I’ll get all of my records?
Answer: We suggest calling and reaching out to the records department and informing them of what you need. Simply say, “I’m trying to request my records, and I need every doctor that came into my room, including the surgeon. What exactly do I need to put on my records request?” They will tell you the exact phrasing to get the records you need. So, for instance, if you’re going to order from Mercy Hospital, they may tell you to write on request, “all records from Mercy Hospital emergency department,” and they’ll know exactly what you should put on the form to obtain all of your records.
Question # 9: What records should I look for when requesting medical records from a hospital?
Answer: There is a records department, there is a billing department, and there is an imaging department. Most of the time while sending out the records and bills they’ll tell you, “Please contact this department to obtain any imaging,” because of it being in a completely different department in the hospital. So, if you know that there was imaging (x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc) you may have to send the the exact same form to the different departments. However, some of the hospitals will allow you to send all of your requests to one fax number or one address, but you will need to put different names on your HIPAA frm.
Question #10: Is the doctor’s bill always included in the emergency room bill?
Answer: Not always. That is why we suggest calling and asking where you should send the records request.
Question # 11: How long does it take to receive my medical records and bills?
Answer: The providers generally ask for you to give them 30 to 45 days. On your HIPAA, it says for the doctor/hospital to provide the records within 30 days, but sometimes they get behind, causing it to take longer. You can always call and check on your request. Sometimes, they can have them ready for you to go in and pick them up, depending on the facility.
Question#12: Is there a way I can get my medical records and bills faster?
Answer: If you need your medical records and bills quickly, sometimes you can ask to come by their office and pick up the records. This could cut weeks off the request. We suggest you send your request in advance so they have it on hand when you get there.
Question # 13: Is there a way to save money getting my medical records and bills?
Answer: There is. That is what we call a HITECH letter – some of the facilities call it a patient directive. This will allow you to obtain the records and bills for only $6.50. Sometimes, the facility will try to charge you for the full amount unless you remind them that you sent the HITECH letter. To get the discounted rate ($6.50), you will need to consent to receive the records electronically, either through email or a CD.
Question # 14: Roughly, how much does it cost to request paper records?
Answer: Normally, medical records can cost over $100. It really depends on how many copies of paper they’re copying. That is why the HITECH letter is very important for all of our clients to have on file. The facilities typically charge roughly $25 just to start your request for medical records. The HITECH letter allows you to receive the records electronically at a cheaper rate.
Question # 15: If I owe a balance from my medical treatment, can I still get my medical records and bills?
Answer: Yes. You as a patient have the right to all of your records and bills, even if you have a balance on your account. By law, you are permitted to obtain your records and bills.
Give us a call at (888) 550.4026 if you have questions about obtaining your medical records and bills.