To request a Medical Record

So you’ve gotten the appointment with the doctor. He’s not the first physician you’ve seen about this same problem. Now he has asked you to obtain records from a previous doctor. 


Generally speaking, you probably fall into one of two camps: You’ve had to request records before and you know how to do it, or else you’ve never/seldom done it and you need some help with that process. 


If you are a member of camp one: high five. You don’t necessarily have to read this post, but we’d still love to have you. It never hurts to get a refresher.


If your tent sits squarely in camp two: we’re glad you’re here. We want to help you navigate potentially complicated territory. 


Protecting your medical information with HIPAA is very important. And as a result, many doctors’ offices won’t send us records on you if we simply call up and ask. 


At PFI, we tend to assume that is the case. If one of our providers asks you to bring records to your next visit, or to have them sent to our office prior to your follow-up, we have two recommendations to fulfill that request.


First of all, you can work directly with the other doctor’s office. If you live or work near their office, you may be able to swing by quickly to sign the release paperwork. Otherwise, you may be able to call them and give a verbal request for records. 


Most doctors’ offices will happily send you the form to fill out and fax, email, or mail back. But if you don’t have access to a printer, stopping by their office may be the only option. If that is the case, please call our office. We will do our best to figure out a way to get you a copy of the form. 


Once you have filled it out, simply send it back to their office by your preferred method. Fax is quick, but faxes can get lost or misfiled at huge practices, leading to inconvenient delays. 


Your time is precious, so we recommend scanning the completed form and emailing it to an approved address. To confirm whether that is a viable option, give that doctor’s office a call.


If you are notified during your appointment in our office that you will need to bring or send records to our office, you can stop at the front desk and request a Medical Records Request form. You may complete this file in the office, and we will send it to your provider.


It is important to note that you must be in the office to complete this form, as it requires the patient’s signature to complete. If we call to ask you to request records, you will need to work with their office to get a request form. 


With both of these methods, the expected result is the same: the doctor’s office will send us a copy of your records. You should feel free to pick up a copy of the doctor’s records and bring them to our office personally, but you are certainly not required to do so.


Here’s hoping this has been a helpful post. Let us know if you are having trouble getting records. We’re here to help.


Until next time, be well and stay healthy!

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