How To Get A Copy Of Your Medical Records In Spartanburg
You have the right to request a copy of your medical record at any time and for any reason. People often do so to review their medical history, check records for accuracy, or to make sure that information that is essential to their care is included on their record. Medical records can also play a critical role in personal injury claims.
While some healthcare systems give patients access to their electronic medical records, others require you to submit a formal request.
Keep in mind that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires all of a person’s health information to be kept private and secure. These restrictions can make it challenging to obtain your records, even though it is your right to have them. In general, you can request your medical records if you are:
- The patient or the patient’s legal guardian
- A caregiver or advocate who has written permission from the client to requests the medical records
If you need help obtaining medical records in Spartanburg, the attorneys at Stewart Law Offices can help. We have a conveniently located office in Spartanburg and our firm represents people throughout South Carolina. Call us or fill out an online contact form to discuss your medical records and how to obtain them today.
Why You Would Need a Copy of Your Medical Record and How It Can Help
There are many reasons why you might want to obtain a copy of your medical record. Some common reasons include:
- Gaining a better understanding of your medical history
- Reviewing records for accuracy
- Establishing a complete list of your medications
- Emergency preparedness (for allergies, medications, baseline information)
- Proving injuries following an accident caused by someone else’s negligence
Understanding your medical history is important for many reasons. It can help you be a better patient and communicate with doctors when you are ill. Also, if you are ever hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s reckless or negligent actions, your medical record will likely be vital to any civil injury actions you need to take.
Steps to Request a Medical Record
When a person seeks their medical records, the covered entity that records are being sought from usually dictates the format a request must be made in. Most requests are required to be made in writing, but some entities require specific forms. These forms may be completed online, or they can be mailed or faxed in some cases.
People can also submit their own requests when forms are not provided. Such requests need to include:
- The records being sought
- Your preferred format for the protected health information,
- Your name
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Email address
HIPAA Rights and the Law
HIPAA is a federal law that was passed in to protect the privacy of medical information as well as improving a person’s access to it. Under HIPAA, you have the right to a copy of your medical records, and a covered entity must comply with your request within 30 days.
You can ask that protected health information not be shared with certain individuals or entities under HIPAA. Protected health information under HIPAA can be shared by a health care provider when the person is not present and does not object to sharing the information, the provider determines that it is in the person’s best interest, or the person gives the provider or plan permission to share the information.
What to Do If You’re Denied Access to Your Medical Record
Covered entities are not required under HIPAA to provide psychotherapy notes or information relating to a civil, criminal, or administrative actions or proceedings. South Carolina state law establishes that health care providers have to provide a person with a summary of their record if they deny full access in order to keep the person and others safe.
You have the right to have the decision reviewed by a different health care professional under the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
Hospitals in Spartanburg County include:
Spartanburg Medical Center
101 East Wood Street
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Mary Black Health System
1700 Skylyn Drive
Spartanburg, SC 29307
Do you need help obtaining medical records in South Carolina? Stewart Law Offices can help make sure that health care providers comply with your request. You can have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.