Get copies of ALL your Medical Records - BEFORE 7 years have gone by!

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Famulus
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 8/13/2005 8:26 PM (GMT -7)   
In most states in the US, the law says that medical records only have to be kept for 7 years. In a few states it's only 5 years. Now that the records are digital, they could easily be kept forever, but be aware that as soon as the statutory time is reached, no time is wasted dumping your medical history.

You can get copies of your echo's and caths on CD. It's also a good idea to get films from chest x-rays and the tracings from the EKG's you have had. (not just the written reports) Those have to be obtained by special request and usually have a separate fee, but they are vital for future consults.

For the written records of hospital stays, if you ask for your complete file it will have all your lab results, and the nurses floor reports which include everything - your blood pressure, what you ate, every drug you had, temp, etc. This is important to have if you had any adverse drug reaction so you'll know what not to take next time - or if something worked well for you, its good to know what that was.

At most hospitals, you have to go in person, fill out a form and show two forms of ID for HIPAA privacy requirements, but that varies by state. If you specify that your records are being sent to your doctor, they usually don't charge for copies (paper records), but if you are getting them yourself, they can charge up to $1.00 per page. If it's alot though, most hospitals reduce the per page cost to quite a bit less than that.

Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 8/13/2005 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, Oona!!  That would be especially important if you move frequently! yeah
 
Hugs, Teri tongue
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Nikki Jo
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 8/13/2005 10:24 PM (GMT -7)   
hmmm well in colorado its alot longer than 7 years because I got mine after I had turned 18, it was probably more like 24 and I am 28.  My medical records at university from 1977-1990 and I requested a copy of them in 2001.  which is 24 years they had kept my medical records and I believe they still have them.
 
So I just want to let everyone know that all states are different and to check with your state hospital records.
 
Take Care,
Nikki born with Complex TOF

heartangel
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Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 638
   Posted 8/14/2005 8:54 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Oona like Nikki JO said"it varies state to state and sometimes Hospitials keep everything on microfilm at a different location. 2 examples  I got my records this year from my car bike wreck back in May of 1994 from the  hospital  x-rays meds etc even trauma room report.

Then I sent off earlier this year to Univ of Okla. for my thyroid records when I was first diagonsed at age 12 and they had them on microfilm had to wait  2 months for they had to send to where they kept the microfilm pull the micro film up copy it send it to hopsital who sent it to me. I am now 49.

Also this is good advice to those who move alot too.So be sure to ask if it is kept on microfilm at a different location.

Heidi

Again Thanks Oona



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Post Edited (heartangel) : 8/14/2005 10:30:03 AM (GMT-6)


Famulus
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 8/15/2005 7:08 AM (GMT -7)   
I wonder if the teaching hospitals keep stuff longer than other
hospitals? My old records have been destroyed. The hospital changed its
name and ownership over 10 years ago, but kept the same location so I was able to track them down - just not the records. They had been destroyed long ago. Fortunately I do still have the records in a storage unit in CA, but I haven't gone back to dig them out - yet.
I contacted the state hospital board and was told they can voluntarily
keep them longer, but in FL they are only required to keep for 7 years.

But this not only happens with hospitals - it's doctor's records too. I was able to find my old cardio from '77 (still practicing) but his records only go back 7 years. (so he says)

PS - I asked the state hospital board why the records are destroyed, and they said it was to reduce storage costs - and liability issues!

Post Edited (Famulus) : 8/15/2005 8:23:01 AM (GMT-6)


heartangel
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 638
   Posted 8/15/2005 7:14 AM (GMT -7)   

ok that is good to know, BUt maybe with teaching hospitials they do keep them longer than 7 years I know when some Dr's leave teaching hospital to go into private practice or  dr's in private practice close up they run an ad in the paper  that say's so and so  Dr's is retireing or has died so if you want your records please contact so and so and they put address and phone number. I got my husbands  records from his wreck back in 1965 on and  Baptist too with his neck fusion in 1966  when 2e needed them to get SSDI.

I do know my Army records from me as a kid  is in St Louis all on microfilm for my dad was an Army Officer and I would hate to track them down living in 15 different states before coming to Fla.

Heidi



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Grows with a KISS
And ends with a TEAR
 
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Post Edited (heartangel) : 8/15/2005 10:38:45 AM (GMT-6)

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