Question about obtaining medical records

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 5/6/2008 12:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I am making an appt. with another GI dr. in a larger city and want to get my medical records and film from colonoscopies and endoscopies from my current dr. But......I don't want to offend him! Is there a way that I can request copies of all of this and say that it's for me? I want to be able to take all the reports and pictures to the new dr. but don't know how to go about it. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks!

30 years old~ Diagnosed in 2000 with Crohn's~ Currently taking 3000 mg Pentasa, Prednisone, and Bentyl.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 5/6/2008 12:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Talk to the receptionist at the doctor's office (phone in if you don't want to go in person). It's none of their business why you want your records and as far as I'm aware, you don't have to specify why you want them. If you do (I had to fill out a form to get mine) just put down "for personal use".
I don't know where you are but in Canada, the office can charge you a fee to get your records - it's usually the cost of photocopies (ie: 25¢ per page). They aren't however allowed to charge you a ridiculous amount.
When I got mine I went to medical records at the hospital (we have a clinic in the hospital that I go to) and I filled out a form to get my records. I had to specify what I wanted (you could say your whole file or test x, y and z) and I had to say what I wanted them for. I had to sign the form etc. I had a bit more of a hassle because the lady in medical records was a nosey old biddy but you shouldn't have a problem (my mum just got her whole file copied a few months ago and didn't have a problem). I didn't get charged for the copies but my mum paid 25¢ per page.

HTH :)
Dx: Crohn’s Ileitis as of 22/02/08
Rx: Salofalk 4g/day (26/02/08)
6mg Budesonide (for the next 6 weeks as of 04/04/08)

Discontinued meds:
Asacol 2.4g
Pentasa 4g

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 5/6/2008 12:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much! That was exactly what I was needing to know! My doctor's staff has given me grief before when I went locally to get a second opinion and I just don't want to have to deal with them again on this matter! Thank you again for the great advice!
30 years old~ Diagnosed in 2000 with Crohn's~ Currently taking 3000 mg Pentasa, Prednisone, and Bentyl.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 5/6/2008 5:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Keep in mind that in the USA your medical records belong to the "generating" facility or doctor, i.e. if your scopes are done at a hospital outpatient endo department you would get the reports and films (?) from that hospital. The same holds true for any test, procedure, blood draw, etc. The records belong to the generating facility.

In the case of "independent labs" the records belong to the scripting doctor (one of the two reasons I REFUSE to use Quest Labs and always have my blood draws done at our local hospital's outpatient lab - the other being Quest REFUSES to release the results to my family doctor unless he is the one ordering the draw - or to me).

AND HIPAA allows the medical facility or doctor to charge a "reasonable fee". In one case, one of the local hospitals once charged me a $10 access fee plus a $1 a page copying fee for a ONE page result. Obviously I REFUSE to go to that hospital for ANYTHING.

The local hospital I use does charge me for "older" records. I don't remember the period of time but once the records reach a certain age (maybe 4-5 years) they are kept at some "outside" record keeping facililty rather than the hospital's computer system and when these "older" records are requested they take longer to get and I do get charged for them but the fee is very reasonable.
What are you referring to when you say "films" from your colonoscopies and endoscopies? If you are referring to the "still pictures" taken at specific sites of "interest" during a scope my gastro offers me a copy before I am released after my scope. If videos are made of your entire scope you have a VERY PROGRESSIVE endoscopy unit and I envy you!!! Very few facilities (at least in our area) have the extra equipment to do so. *sigh*

Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Post Edited (CrohnieToo) : 5/6/2008 6:21:48 AM (GMT-6)

Ne Ne
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 5/6/2008 6:18 AM (GMT -7)   
If you tell them you want to send them to another doctor you don't have to pay for them.... But if they are for you they will charge you ...I know I've done it both ways.... Besides you don't talk to the doctor you talk to there administration office....The doctor won't know about it ...If you apply for ssi or ssdi they pull all your medical records...You would be really surprised as to who gets them.... Besides you could be looking for a new internal medicine doctor ......Good luck with the other doctor anyway you go...

Ne Ne
49 Female
Dx June 07 crohn's take asacol 2x3 a day , entcort 1 a day ,lotrel for HBP , omeprezole for stomach , potassium , ond day crohn's & colitis therapy , calcium & Vit D , lomotil for lose stools , tramadol for pain , started humira in Feb 08

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 385
   Posted 5/6/2008 8:14 AM (GMT -7)   


You've already received some great advice. Any type of films (MRI, CT, etc.) would be at the facility that you had it done at. I've never seen films for a colonoscopy/endoscopy (just the reports), so I'd check with the place that you had it done at. As far as your records go, if you request them yourself there will probably be a fee according to how far back in time you need to go. The most we've ever charged was $70 and that was for a huge amount of copies.



Breast Cancer at 37; bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction.
Colon resection 2004; Sub-Total colectomy September 2007 for colonic inertia - didn't work.
Son (HLA B27 positive) diagnosed with Crohn's at 17 (now 21). Taking Asacol and 6MP with Prednisone and Rowasa added during flareups. Recently diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis - now on Humira.
Husband HLA B27 postive with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 5/6/2008 9:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Don't know if this is a state law or wider but, where I am, you can get one free copy of your medical records.  After that, you have to pay.  Here is what happened with me: I got the free copy and took it to my second GI.  When I switched to my third GI, my 2nd one would give me a free copy of any records from my time with him but would not give me a copy of the records from my first GI that I brought with me to my second GI.  My first GI was going to charge me $1 per page (for an 80 page chart!) to get another copy to take to my third GI.  The doctor's offices never asked what I wanted them for.  Now, I have started making a copy for me of anything I've received from any of my doctors so I don't have to pay $1 a page...that's a ridiculous fee.  My docs just made me sign a release before I could pick up my records.  Oh and the second GI couldn't find most of my records and it tooks months and about 10 phone calls to actually get copies of the capsule endoscopy findings.  Be sure they are thorough, since you will probably have to pay for anything they don't give you the first time! 

...rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverence; perseverence, character; and character, hope.   Romans 5:3-4

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 5/6/2008 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
If these things were done at a hospital, you don't have to go through your doctor at all. You obtain paper records directly from the medical records department, and usually CD's with digital copies of your scans from the radiology department, at the hospital where the procedures were done. If it is sent directly to the doctor you are seeing, you generally don't have to pay, but you probably will have to pay if you say it is for you to keep.

Your doctor should not be offended if you want to get a consultation in a bigger city. I think it is a bad idea not to tell him/her. They don't like it when patients are sneaky...they know when you obtain records. You could end up not liking the new doctor, or deciding it's too inconvenient, so you don't want to alientate your current GI. And a doctor-to-doctor call can usually help to get appointments faster.

July 2007 Drug-Induced Liver Injury
January 2008 Crohn's Ileitis
Currently trying...
Enteral Nutrition, SCD, Omega-3 (Fish and Flax Oil), Folic Acid, Probiotics, Vitamin E, Psyllium

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 5/6/2008 11:16 AM (GMT -7)   
If you do get your records in hand, and not sent to the new dr., then I would make copies of them before my apt., so I have my own set of my records. :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 5/6/2008 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all so much! Everyone had wonderful advice! I am going to call about it today. Thanks again!!!
30 years old~ Diagnosed in 2000 with Crohn's~ Currently taking 3000 mg Pentasa, Prednisone, and Bentyl.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 5/6/2008 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Well my GI passes everything to my general doctor, as I see my Gi every couple of month but my general doctor every month for my B12 shot. So if you feel bad just say your General doctor would like a record of things.
Natalie :)

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Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 1017
   Posted 5/7/2008 7:06 AM (GMT -7)   
I am waiting for a doctor to mail me a copy of my records. I just had to ask and work with their time schedule. I had 3 others I needed and just had to sign a release. They really did not care why I needed them, just if it came to me or another office.
Red (Lee Ann)
 Happy Bunny 
      When life gives you lemons, squirt juice in your enemy's eyes.

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