Can Providers or Clinicians Refuse to Participate in Sharing Health Records?

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Well under HIPAA, the HIPAA privacy rule which many people think of primarily is protecting privacy and it does do that. There's also something called the right of access which means that you as an American have a right to get a copy of your health record. There have been updates to that, that says that in an electronic age if it's easily available electronically, it has to be made available to you electronically if you ask for it.

There may be debates about what easily available means but basically providers have to share data with patients and other hipik companies do to, so pharmacies and so on do too. Now according to the law, there is something like a 30 day window, that you have to get that data and then today is electronic age that seems like an awfully long time, so a provider could certainly drag his or her feet but legally you've got the right to get your data.

And a lot of people don't know this, but if you're having a hard time getting your records, there are a lot of materials that let you know and that we provide on our website that say you have this legal right. And if someone isn't respecting it there are places where you can complain, and in fact the office of civil rights, which is part of the department health and human services, has made people or organizations pay in some cases millions of dollars for not respecting that right of access.