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Hospital Records

GETTING MEDICAL RECORDS

A. Providers. Access to hospital records and records of ambulatory care centers is governed by Section 395.3025.

B. Confidentiality. Section 395.3025(4) says these patient records are confidential and must not be disclosed without the consent of the patient or his or her legal representative, but appropriate disclosure may be made without such consent to: (a) licensed facility personnel, attending physicians, or other health care practitioners and providers currently involved in the care or treatment of the patient for use in connection with treatment; (b) licensed facility personnel for administrative purposes or risk management and quality assurance functions; (c) the Agency for Health Care Administration for purposes of health care cost containment; (d) in any civil or criminal action, unless otherwise prohibited by law, upon the issuance of a subpoena from a court of competent jurisdiction and proper notice by the parties seeking such records to the patient or his or her legal representative; (e) the Agency for Health Care Administration upon subpoena, with certain restrictions; (f) the Department of Health or its agent, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a trauma registry and ensuring that hospitals and trauma centers are in compliance with standards and rules, and for the purpose of monitoring patient outcomes at places that provide trauma care services; (g) the Department of Children and Families, its agent, or its contracted entity, for the purpose of investigations of or services for cases of abuse, neglect, or
exploitation of children or vulnerable adults; (h) a local or regional trauma agency that performs quality assurance services, a panel or committee assembled to assist a local trauma agency, or a regional trauma agency performing quality assurance activities;” (i) organ procurement organizations, tissue banks, and eye banks required to conduct death records reviews pursuant to statute; (j) the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the Department of Legal Affairs; (k) the Department of Financial Services, or its agent, employee, or independent contractor who is auditing for unclaimed property pursuant to statute.

C. Access. Section 395.3025(1) states the facility is required to furnish the records, upon written request, and “only after discharge of the patient”, in a timely manner and without delays for legal review, to any person admitted for care and treatment or to such person’s guardian, curator or personal representative, or in the absence of one of those persons, to the next of kin of a decedent or the parent of a minor, or to anyone designated by such person in writing.

D. Charges. Prior to delivery, the person must agree to pay a charge for copying. The exclusive charge, which may include sales tax and actual postage, may not exceed $1 per page, except for non-paper records which may be up to $2. An additional fee of $1 may be charged for each year of records requested. These charges apply regardless of whether the records come directly from the facility or from a copy service providing the services. A patient whose records are copied or searched for the purpose of continuing to receive medical care is not required to pay a charge for copying or for the search. The facility is also required to allow the patient to examine the original records in its possession, or microforms or other suitable reproduction of the records upon reasonable terms that shall be imposed to assure the records will not be damaged, destroyed or altered.

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