Hi Helen (nice name, that's my mom's name too!), The HIPPA laws make those medical records ours. All you should have to do is contact the office and tell them you want a copy. There may be a charge, depending on the policy of the doctor's office.
Anytime you have tests done, you should definitely get those records so yo ucan avoid costly repeat testing if its not necessary.
I just read in a magazine at the doctor's office today , a professional group that recommends doctors give the patients copies of their records at the conclusion of each visit. The reason behind this is in case of a disaster (fire, flood, earthquake, etc) that would destroy or damage the doctor's files at least the patient would have a copy. That makes a lot of sense to me too. This was advice learned from the aftermath of Katrina.
Ahhhh thanks for the answer. I thought I could get them, but I feel weird asking for them, today I got copies of some bloodwork my PCP had done back in February, so I could have it for my records, but I only got it because they offered to give me a copy because I was curious about the ACTUAL results. I am supposed to sign a release to get the ones from the neuro like tomorrow morning, but I didn't know I could get them for myself. I definatley want to see what this whackadoo has been putting in his notes. It could be nothing, but I want to be prepared for my new neuro on the 6th. Thanks for the info!
PS- It was my grandmothers name. :-)
I used to work in a company that handles medical malpractice claims. (I handled med-mal claims.) I'm also a risk manager. Patients, on a regulare basis, would ask for a copy of their medical records. Part of my job was to teach doctors how to avoid risks that could get them sued. Patient's have a legal right to get a copy of their medical records. Medical professional can require a WRITTEN REQUEST and charge a REASONABLE fee but they legally have to provide the records. There was a law suit in Texas that awarded $1 in compensitory damages and $16,000 in punitive damages for a claim regarding failure to provide records
My neurologist and my PCP use the same records service. You have to pay the service, not the doctor, to get the records, and I kind of think it's helpful to the doctor's PR. "Well, you know, we have to pay these people to get copies made, so it's best that you just get them yourself. Here's the rate schedule." It's not bad. You can get two year's worth for $20, if it's going to another doctor or you. If you need to pick and choose, it's a base amount, plus per page.
My PCP will hand you a page or two for nothing, but when I was switching neuros, I got everything from her and paid for it.
Funny...whenever she sends me to someone else, they send a letter to her saying "Thank you for referring this pleasant patient." I guess if you're not a royal pain, you're pleasant. However, I was quite honored that one of my specialists referred to me as "delightful." I think I'll frame it. Maybe Sunnytoday can tell us if pleasant is generic doctor-speak for "ordinary."