Patient medical records are strictly confidential. The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) restricts our office from releasing any information without the patients written permission.
Protected Health Information (PHI) such as paper copies of records, electronic records or verbal communication are all methods our office will release information. Our office complies with all HIPAA and PHI disclosure laws.
There may be times when a patient will request that we provide copies of medical records to other entities. We do incur an expense to provide this service and that cost is passed onto the patient. Our fees are applicable to current California statute. Contact our office to inquire about the costs of providing copies of records. Patients will be responsible for payment before any records are prepared or released. Medical Record requests typically take 5-14 business days to complete once the applicable fees have been paid.
Patients generally prefer a spouse or caregiver to have access to certain medical records like lab results, prescription information, or follow up care instructions. For example: a patients sibling is caring for them while they recover from a surgical procedure and calls our office because they need to know about the patients blood pressure medication - if our office does not have a signed consent for from the patient we would not be able to communicate with the sibling at all.
We take privacy very seriously and we are not permitted to disclose information to anyone other than the patient, including spouses or caregivers, unless the patient signs a written consent form in our office. The written consent must indicate the first name, last name, and relationship of the person we are able to disclose information to. If such a person is picking up physical records or copies of records, they may be required to show proper identification, so their ID can be verified.