Protecting A Patient’s Right To Medical Records

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to protect a patient’s right to medical records. 

Imagine you’re diagnosed with an illness and you have to look years back into your care. 

The patient actually may find when he or she goes to look that the records have been destroyed without the patient’s consent,” said Senator Richard Roth who authored the bill SB 1238 the Medical Records Protection Act.

The bill ensures you have access to your own medical records. Right now, providers can destroy them without you even knowing. SB 1238 ensures you’re notified by any provider before that happens. 

This is a very simple letter that says we have your records, they’re going to be destroyed on such and such date, if you want a copy, call us."

Roth says one day you may need to look as far back as 5, 10, 15 or 20 years. Click here to hear from Alan Boinus who needed access to his wife’s medical records after a second breast cancer diagnosis only to find they were gone, destroyed. 

“A new treating physician may need to take a look at those records to see what the process was, what the protocol was that was followed, the treatment regimen involved,” explained Roth. 

Opponents argue the costs associated with notification. 

If a notice and access to medical records secures an early diagnosis and treatment, if it protects someone from an unnecessary procedure and/or if on occasion it saves a life, it’s certainly worth the administrative costs of mailing a letter,” argued Roth. 

The bill is on its way to the senate floor. 

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