How to Get Your Records

(Page 2 of 2 of Getting Your Medical Records: Information on Rights, Procedures, and Denials)

Although states and medical providers vary on the procedure you need to follow in requesting medical records, it's usually safest to do the following:

  • Contact the medical provider and find out where the request should be sent. Some providers use third-party services to maintain and copy patients' medical records. Other providers have specific offices or personnel dedicated to medical record requests. The process will be quicker if you send your request to the right location right off the bat.
  • Make the request in writing.
  • Include your name, address, telephone number, email address, date of birth, and medical record number, if you know it (this is not the same as your invoice number). Some providers will request your social security number.
  • Fill out a release form. This step is required by most medical providers. Ask the provider to send the form to you, or see if it's available online. You can also offer to stop by the office to pick up a copy of the form.
  • Specify whether you want to view the originals, get copies, or both.

Specify Which Records You Want

When it comes to identifying which medical records you want, you can be general or specific. Sometimes, patients want their entire medical file. But if you

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