How to Transfer Medical Records between Doctors

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Sometimes, your medical records are needed to be transferred to other doctors when you’ve moved to another city or state, or you’ve been recommended by your doctor to a specialist. Here comes a complete guide below, providing everything you want and need to know about that.

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Can your new doctor access your medical records?

Absolutely YES!

However, one thing should never be ignored you should allow the doctor to do that. Otherwise, the doctor has no right to access your medical records.

According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you have the right to access your medical records, and their copies and to correct them. Therefore, you’re legally accessible to your medical records. If your new doctor needs your medical records, he or she is able to get them as soon as you permit. No one has the right to browse or read your medical records without your legal permission.

How to transfer medical records between doctors

Ideally speaking, it’s quite simple to transfer medical records between doctors with the procedure below:

  • Step 1. Fill in an authorization form to allow one medical service provider to share your medical records with another one.
  • Step 2. Mark the medical record types you want to be shared.
  • Step 3. Pay for the necessary fees to complete the authorization.

However, there’s more than that. Here’s a complete guide to transferring medical records between doctors.

Talk to your new doctor to get the exact types of records that are to be needed.

This step is quite important because it may save you money. On one hand, it’s a waste of time and money to get all records. On the other hand, when records are to be transferred, you possibly need to pay for fax files whose prices are determined by faxed pages.

Check if you can easily download your medical records from a patient portal.

This step can be put before the step above as well. If you can easily download medical records by yourself, this article will be instantly useless. Some hospitals or medical service providers provide digital medical records to patients like PDF and you just need to download them. Also, the hard copies of some medical records can be got as you go there for paper versions.

Ask your previous doctor to transfer medical records.

If you fail to download medical records directly from a patient portal or if your new doctor is inside the same healthcare system as your previous one, you can ask your previous doctor to transfer your medical records to your new doctor. Of course, your permission is a must.

Submit the medical records to your new doctor.

If you’ve got the digital file formats of your medical records, you’re able to submit them to your new doctor by email, fax, or hand. The essential easiness of fax lies in the digital signature to authorize your permission for your new doctor.

Can doctors charge you for your medical records?

In California, 25 cents can be charged for each page by physicians to copy medical records or 50 cents for each microfilm. When it comes to regulations and principles in other states, it’s of great necessity to refer to official websites or sources.

How long does it take to transfer medical records?

Normally, it takes about 5 to 10 days to transfer medical records. However, to avoid unnecessary troubles, it’s better to request medical records in advance.

How long are medical records kept?

Generally speaking, it takes about 5 to 10 years for your medical records to be kept. Specifically speaking, it’s difficult to determine. Each medical service provider varies in terms of the time length to keep medical records. All in all, it’s an optimal idea to request your medical records as soon as possible so that all your other medical treatments won’t be influenced or halted because of the absence of your previous medical records.

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