How Long Does It Take to Get Medical Records?

Having access to your medical records can be crucial, especially when you need them quickly. But how long does it take to get access to them? Knowing what steps need to be taken to receive your medical records, and learning the timelines associated with each step, can help you better plan for when you need this information.

It can take months or even longer to get access to your medical records. And if you are doing so by using a representative, attorney, or any other third party, it can cost thousands and thousands of dollars. The ChartSquad platform can help you reduce the wait to little as 15 days to get medical records, as well as virtually eliminate the additional cost of the records that records keepers and healthcare providers are known to lump onto each request.

ChartSquad eliminates the hassle usually associated with obtaining your medical records. You use the platform (for free!) as a tool to help you get access. The platform enables you to take advantage of your federally granted right of access to your healthcare information in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Below is all the information you will need and some of the actions you’ll need to take to get your medical records; if you don’t use ChartSquad, that is…

Understand How Long It Takes to Receive Your Medical Records.

It can often take several weeks or longer to receive medical records. The timeline depends on the procedures of the health care provider; depending on the policy, you may need to submit a formal request to their patient services department. Once your written request is approved, some providers can provide copies of your records; this may take weeks or even months, or much longer. Government organizations such as HHS and OCR are having to penalize healthcare providers more and more for ignoring the laws regarding easy access to your Protected Health Information (PHI). ChartSquad spends a lot of time educating patients AND providers about the laws and regulations surrounding access to medical data.

Follow Your Medical Facility’s Guidelines for Requesting Records.

The timeline for receiving medical records can be affected by the procedures established by your healthcare provider, such as outlined in our article, How to get medical records. To get a copy of your records, you may need to submit a written request or fill out a form provided by the facility. It is important to follow their guidelines to ensure accurate and timely delivery of your records. Also, before making a formal request, check with the medical facility if fees are required for their services.

Make Sure You Provide Sufficient Identification and Documentation.

Before submitting a request for your medical records, ensure you provide enough identification and documentation that will allow the facility to verify who you are. This is important so that any information you receive is secure and accurate. Usually, this would include a valid photo ID and proof of address. Some facilities may also require additional documents such as a birth certificate or Social Security number to process your request.

Know What Data Will Be Included in a Standard Request for Records.

When requesting medical records, make sure to provide as much detail as possible about the data you need to be included. Generally, when a standard request is made for medical records it will include documentation from doctor visits, hospitalizations, results from tests or imaging studies, and treatments that were administered. It may also include details about any allergies you have, medications and doses you may be taking, or vaccination records.

Find Out if You're Entitled to Additional Copies of Your Medical Records.

Depending on the state in which you reside, you may be entitled to additional copies of your medical records. Check with your healthcare providers to find out if they will provide more than one free copy of a particular record and if there are any fees for subsequent copies. Additionally, federal and state laws may allow you to receive a certain number of free copies of certain types of records such as lab tests or imaging studies.

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