of the County of Erie
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Release of Medical Records
Guidelines to follow for obtaining copies of your medical records
New York State courts have consistently held that medical records, including radiographic films, are the property of the physician or the facility that created the records.
Although the physician or facility owns the medical record, New York State permits patients to obtain copies of their medical records, whether they are paper or radiographic films.
Physicians and other providers may require “reasonable charges” for the inspection and copying of medical records, which may not exceed $0.75 per page. However, a provider cannot deny a qualified individual access to patient information solely because of the individual’s inability to pay. Special rules apply for mammograms.
Patient Access to Record
NYS allows patients or qualified persons, subject to certain limited exceptions, direct access to the patients’ medical records by either inspecting or receiving a copy of the medical records.
Upon the written request of a qualified person, a health care practitioner or facility must, within a reasonable time, furnish the qualified person with a copy of any patient information requested, which the qualified person is authorized to inspect. Although reasonable time is not defined in the statute, the New York State Department of Health has indicated that a reasonable time within which to provide copies of the patient information is between 10 and 14 days. Certain licensed facilities, such as nursing homes, must provide copies of records within 24 hours after receipt of a written release for the records.
Who is a Qualified person?
A qualified person is defined as:
What Constitutes a Good Medical Record?
A good medical record must be complete, meaning that it should contain the following information: