Part 2: Basic Patient Rights (FAQ 19 of
Right to Inspect and Copy Your Record
19. Do I Want to See or Copy My Record?
There are many reasons you might want to review your records. Decide
if any of these appeals to you:
- You plan to move to another city and want to bring your records to
a new doctor so that the doctor has your current information on your
first visit. You may not know who the new doctor is in advance so you
cannot arrange a doctor-to-doctor transfer.
- You want a second opinion from another doctor and want to avoid having
duplicate tests. If you have the records, you don't have to let
your first doctor know about the second opinion.
- You want to make sure that your new doctor knows about earlier treatments
and previous tests.
- You want to keep a permanent copy of all your health records in one
place and in your possession.
- You are curious.
- You want to make sure that your children have your records because
you think that something in your record (e.g., genetic information or
family history that they may not know) may eventually be relevant to
- You have given your medical power of attorney to your grandson, and
you want him to have all of your records (not just those for your current
treatment) so that he can make informed decisions or so he can obtain
assistance in making choices. By the way, the records that you give
to your grandson are not covered by HIPAA in his hands (except, perhaps,
if he is a physician or other health care provider).
- You want to talk to a lawyer about medical malpractice and don't
want your provider to know about it.
- You think that there might be incorrect or irrelevant information
in your record.
- You think that you are a victim of medical identity theft.
- You think that your insurance company improperly denied your claim,
and you want to see the record about you that the company maintains.
- You think that your doctor or insurance company is lying to you.
- Any other reason or no reason. It is your right to see or have a
copy of your record. You don't need to have a reason. You do not
have to tell anyone what your reason is.