Migraines and Medical Records - It's Our DaM Data!
Earlier this week, I heard from someone who was having trouble getting her medical records to give to a Migraine specialist. She needed the records in order to schedule the appointment, but when she called the office of the doctor who has been treating her, they refused to send the records until the appointment with the Migraine specialist was scheduled. Of course, she was frustrated and stressed by this idiocy.
Have you had a similar situation? Or, maybe you wanted a copy of your medical records for yourself, to see what was in them?
Well, here's the scoop - Regardless of why we want our medical records, the law - under HIPAA, requires doctors to provide us with a copy of our medical records within 30 days or our requesting them in writing. What's more, if they charge for those copies, they may charge ONLY the cost of the copies. They may not charge for staff time or anything else.
I want to share a video about this that's become one of my very favorite videos. I hope it brings you the chuckles and inspiration that it brings me every time I watch it...
Something else I want to share with you is a wonderful memo about our rights to our medical records. This memo was issued by eon Rodriguez, who is the Director of the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services...
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
Office of the Secretary Director
Office for Civil Rights
Washington, D.C. 20201
May 31, 2012
Message from Leon Rodriguez, Director, Office for Civil Rights
Many consumers want to play a more active role in their health care. The right to see and get a copy of your medical records (called the right to access) is fundamental to your ability to participate in our health care system. For this reason, I know how important it is for you to be able to get your medical records. I see the value of access to health information every day as the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) does its vital work as the primary protector of the privacy and security of that information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
For example, when military families are transferred, they need their medical records to help find the very best doctors and specialists or to enroll their children in a new school. Busy parents need to be able to keep track of all of their own and their children’s doctor visits. Health information is critical to all patients so that they can track their progress through wellness programs, monitor chronic conditions, communicate with their treatment teams, and adhere to their important treatment plans. Important tools like Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Personal Health Records (PHRs) will make it easier, safer, and faster for you to get access to your health information and stay engaged. These tools help you become a true partner in your health care and wellness.
I also know that, all too often, consumers face barriers to getting their health information – and the first barrier is that many do not know their rights...
To read the rest of this memo, including some very helpful links to both information and valuable videos, download the full Right of Access Memo.
It can be difficult to advocate for ourselves, but there are times when it's necessary. When it comes to our medical records, we have to remember that it's OUR DaM Data!
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