Advice From Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Do You Know What’s in Your Medical Records? You Should!! August 8, 2014
By Debra A. Jensen, Esq.
Do you know the last time you had a tetanus shot? What about your cholesterol levels; are they elevated? What is your vaccination history? Your last recorded weight? Your body mass index? If you do not know the answers to these questions, it’s time for you to take a look at your medical records.
Pennsylvania law gives you an absolute right to see and get copies of your medical records, so it’s time to get to work and play a more active role in your healthcare. Why? Because research shows that people who are informed about their medical care have better results when they see their health care providers.
How do you get a copy of your records? That’s easy. First, ask your healthcare provider about their procedures for getting copies. You’ll probably need to fill out a form. Once you’ve submitted your request form, your provider must release your records within 30 days (60 days if they’re kept offsite). Your healthcare provider may not turn down your request if you have an unpaid medical bill or if you’re no longer going to that particular office.
Many people ask if their provider can charge a fee for releasing medical records. The answer is: maybe. Your provider may not charge any money if your records are being transferred to another medical office. If you are getting a copy of the records for yourself, though, you may be charged a reasonable fee for copying, postage and shipping. In Pennsylvania, the fees are set by the Department of Health and they change every year.
The bottom line is that we all do better when we take an active role in our health and medical care. One of the ways to do that is to know what’s in your medical records. If you have difficulty getting your records or have any questions about your medical care, contact us.
Galfand Berger: Experienced, Successful Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Philadelphia
The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at the law offices of Galfand Berger understand your rights and will aggressively fight to protect them. Our medical malpractice lawyers have a long history of successful outcomes for our clients who have suffered as a result of medical provider’s failure to maintain and provide complete and accurate records and failure to obtain informed consent resulting in harm. Call our law offices today at 1-800-222-8792 to schedule a confidential consultation at one of our three convenient locations in Philadelphia, Bethlehem and Reading.