• The Advocate

Your Rights to Your Medical Documents


Did you know under the HIPAA law you have the right to access your medical information? This means you can ask for a copy of your healthcare provider’s notes and they cannot refuse to give them to you. They can, however, charge you for them. Typically, they will leverage a $20 fee for printing them. Do not let this discourage you from getting your notes.



Whenever your primary care provider refers you to a specialist he/she sends your medical history with pertinent labs etc. These are usually faxed to the specialist. You can request a copy for yourself at the same time.


Ask your health office if their Electronic Health Records system has a patient portal. This way you can access your health information at anytime without paying for it.

Be sure to get copies of your notes and all imaging studies and labs from every healthcare provider and hospital you visit. This way you can have a clear documented history in hand if you need to dispute claims or healthcare bills. Do not wait until the last minute to get these. Request them at the very beginning of every visit.

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