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Access to Medical Records

Access to Medical Records

Connecticut law on medical records generally

For non-institutional health care providers (doctors, therapists, nurses, etc.), Connecticut statutes govern a patient's right to access his or her medical records.

Most patients, their authorized health agents, conservators or holders of powers of attorney, have the right to review and copy all their medical records in the possession of their provider. A provider may withhold information if he reasonably believes it will cause the patient or another person harm.  However, the patient may petition the court to ultimately obtain the medical records. Also, a health care provider must release the patient's medical records to another provider upon written request of the patient.

No charge can be imposed for the right to look at a medical record, and state law limits the provider to charge no more than $0.45 per page. Moreover, the records are free if needed to support a claim or appeal under any provision of the Social Security Act.  The provider must furnish the requested health record within 30 days of the request.

Connecticut General Statutes § 20-7c, § 20-7d

Conn. Agencies Regs. § 19a-1-40 et seq.

Connecticut law on nursing home medical records

Nursing home residents, their authorized health agents, conservators or holders of powers of attorney have the right to review and copy all their medical records. No charge can be imposed for the right to look at a medical record. Low-income residents are entitled to a copy of their records at no charge upon providing an affidavit of inability to pay. Others may be charged up to $.65 per page for records. If a nursing home fails to provide prompt access to medical records or does not provide copies of records within 30 days of a written request, a formal complaint can be filed with the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

A patient is entitled to free copies of medical records from any health care provider, including a nursing home, if the records are requested for any claim or appeal under the Social Security Act or if the resident cannot pay for the records. This includes any complaint relating to a nursing home or claim or appeal under either Medicare or Medicaid.

Connecticut General Statutes § 19a-490b

Federal law on nursing home medical records

Federal law applies to nursing homes that accept Medicare and/or Medicaid.  The nursing home resident has the right to access medical records within 24 hours of request, excluding holidays and weekends.  After inspection, the resident may purchase the records at a price not to exceed the community standard for photocopies.  The facility must provide the records within two days.

42 Code of Federal Regulations § 483.10(b)

These laws can be found at:

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