Who owns my medical record?
Under New Jersey law, your health care provider owns the actual medical record.This means,for example,that if your provider maintains paper medical records,they own and have the right to keep the original record. You only have the right to see and get a copy of it.
In New Jersey you have the right to:
- See and get a copy of your medical record.
- Your health care provider usually must let you see your medical record or give you a copy of it within 30 days of receiving your request.
- Your health care provider is allowed to charge you for copies of your medical record. They can also charge you for postage.
- Hospitals may charge up to $1.00 per page for the first 100 pages and 25¢ per page after that. Hospitals may not charge more than $200 for the entire medical record.
- Every hospital must have a policy in place to ensure that patients who are unable to pay can get access to copies of their medical records.
A few suggestions about hospital medical records;
- There are pages of documentation on each hospital admission,such as Nurse's notes, Doctors progress notes, daily vital signs etc. that have little patient value. To eliminate them for copies obtained will save money.
- The essential records that should be obtained are;
- The chart face sheet
- The Doctor's Summary sheet
- X-ray reports
- Laboratory reports, including all pathology studies.
- The hospital may charge extra for selective copying the record.
- You can request just a summary of your records. The Hospital can charge extra for preparing that document. The fee should be agreed upon beforehand.