• "Your" Medical Records....Are they?

    Test Question: Do your medical records belong to you?

    Answer: Nope.

    Do you think to yourself, “If I need the information, I will just ask
    them for it”?

    Think Again.

    What is yours…is not. Your medical data is not your own.

    Your personal health information is owned by the facility that created it. In other words; where you receive services; dental, vision, annual exams etc. … those service providers own the data they created on you and about you. The physician’s office, hospital, specialist own the record. You children’s, your parent’s, your husband’s, your wife’s records are all “safely” behind the walls of the facility of where they were created.  We own the information within it, but not the actual original record. The original medical record is a legally binding document that the medical facility must safeguard from damage, loss, illegal alteration, and unauthorized use, according to HIPPA Privacy Rules. 

    The original documents will never be allowed to leave medical premises without a court order.  But they will let you peek at your record. A patient is allowed to review and inspect his/her medical record at the facility. If you want a physical copy it will cost you time and money. Facilities charge a fee to release your own medical records to you! These fees vary from state to state depending on your particular
    state’s legislation. 

    That’s the bad news. But here is the good news.
    Medical facilities are supposed to give the patient a hard copy of every service they provided before they leave the premises. This is why we at Ahh Hah! Organizing Kits feel it is so important to retain a hard copy of all your medical encounters, hospitalizations, surgeries, procedures, lab work, etc. And this is also a good time to check its accuracy. Systems are unreliable. Double check. If you don’t, that incorrect information lives on in your record ready to be provided to another medical service professional; who will then make decisions based on inaccurate information. A lot of folks throw their records away once they are healthy, but we never know when we need to look back at services rendered. If those medical records are thrown away, and not kept in a safe place at home, it will cost to get copies again. And it isn’t cheap. According to the law, facilities must keep our medical records to cover their basis and pay for storage for up to seven years. If they go through all that trouble to cover themselves in case of a lawsuit, so should we.  

    Think about it. You move. You fall sick. Your emergency medical team needs your past history NOW.  How about that aging relative? Won’t they be turning to you when they need help or when memory fails? What was your husband’s prescription history? Allergies? What were the negative side-effects reported? Extra good news: doctors and medical professionals want and appreciate your participation in your health. They want accurate and current information. If you provide it, you are helping them, help you (and your family).

    If you have your own medical records your life gets a lot easier and healthier. Go now and get our Medical Records Organizer Kit at and be well. Peace.

    You can read more about HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) on the US Department of Health & Human Services website: records/index.html

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