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PHI Access Guidelines: Requests for Access

In part one of our PHI Access Guidelines blog series, we discussed general access rules for a patient's medical record under HIPAA Guidelines, the definition of a designated record set, and what makes someone a patient's personal representative. Part two of the series will cover all components of requesting access to medical records under HIPAA Guidelines.

Requests for Access

Healthcare providers have the ability to choose the way in which they accept patient requests. Healthcare providers can require a written request or offer the option of making an electronic request via email, etc. 

Verification of the request is typically obtained by requiring an authorization to accompany the request. There is no mandated process for obtaining verification of a request; therefore, physician practices and covered entities have their own written policy on whether or not they will require a written or oral authorization to accompany a request. Specifically, MediCopy requires written authorization to be completed to request any medical information from our partnering physician practices. 

Patient Rights for Access

Physician practices and covered entities that release medical records MAY NOT REQUIRE an individual, requesting medical information:

  • To visit your facility to request access to their medical information and provide proof of identity if they are requesting that the medical records be mailed to them
  • To use your facility's patient portal, because not all individuals will be able to gain access to a portal
  • To mail an authorization, as this can cause a delay in fulfillment of the request (instead offer other options such as fax or email)
Verifying Patient Identity

It is very important that healthcare facilities and covered entities, such as MediCopy, take all available steps possible to verify a patient's identity when he or she requests a copy of their medical record. This includes having written policies and procedures in place for verifying identification with multiple patient identifiers, such as date of birth, social security number, home address, etc. 

Requesting Medical Records

MediCopy is a health information management company that partners with physician practices and hospitals across the country to handle their medical record requests. If you find that your physician's practice is partnered with MediCopy to complete medical records requests, you can fill out a request to obtain them here.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to our office anytime via our Contact Us form.