Knowing Your HIPPA Rights and Streamlining Record Retrieval

Privacy as a right is a concept that is becoming more important by the day in the U.S., and its place in the medical sector is no exception. One of the most monumental pieces of legislation regarding the safeguarding of medical information and data privacy was the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. As of its revision in 2002, HIPPA allows all individuals the right to access their own medical records and see who else their records have been disclosed to.

Acquiring a client’s medical records is a necessity for any malpractice or personal injury case, so it’s important to understand the logistics of such an undertaking and options you have with which to procure them. This post will explain the basics while providing you with a description of how we may be able to help.

What exactly does HIPPA say?

HIPPA’s Privacy Rule states that all people have the right to inspect, review, and receive a copy of their medical and billing records – in either paper or electronic form – held by health care providers.[1] Only an individual or their personal representative have the rights to access their own records, and even if you’ve not paid for the services received, a provider is not allowed to deny you a copy of your records.[2] These records include lab reports, medical test results, treatment plans, doctor’s notes, and medical billing information.[3]

How can you get your medical records?

Most commonly, you will be asked to fill out a form of request for your records with basic personal information and a specification of what records you require; this form can be acquired through contacting the provider’s office and requesting it.[4] If you are not the parent or guardian of the patient for whom you seek records, you must obtain written permission from the patient. Providers are required to keep most adult medical records for six years or more, so as long as the records you desire are from recent years, there should be no difficulty in obtaining them.[5] State laws regulate how quickly these records can be supplied to a patient, but it is typically within 10 to 60 days.[6]

How Legal Nurse PDX can help

For attorneys involved in medical-related litigation, having access to a client’s medical records is essential. One option that can save a crucial amount of time, money, and resources is electronic retrieval and management of client medical records. When medical record requests are handled internally, firms have complained that the sheer volume of requests can be overwhelming, payment logistics can be burdensome, tracking of records is unavailable, and the turnaround time was less than ideal.[7]

To combat these problems, you can contact Legal Nurse PDX to help streamline the process with online record retrieval  ( The services we provide include digital records retrieved from over 98% of all major medical centers and hospitals in the nation, real-time order status, a document repository where records will be accessible for 7 years, the opportunity to request notarized Affidavits and Certification of Records, and rushed requests. This process provides convenience, cost containment, and peace of mind that can be essential for your business.

Whether you are a concerned patient or a malpractice attorney, knowing the ins and outs of HIPPA and how to request medical records is very important. Take advantage of the rights you’ve been given, and let us know if our services can help you in this process.

[1] “Your Medical Records,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d.

[2] Ibid

[3] Torrey, Trisha, “How to Get Copies of Your Medical Records,”, Feb. 3, 2017,

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] Smith, W. Roger, “How to Implement Electronic Medical Records Retrieval in Your Firm,”, July 1, 2006,