Call Kurtis Investigates: Who Owns The Rights To Your Medical Records?
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Sometimes your job will send you to the doctor. It could be for a physical or if you get hurt. But do you have a right to see those records?
When a Valley Springs bus driver struggled to get hers, she called Kurtis.
These are medical records about you. It’s your body, so even if someone else pays for the doctor’s visit, wouldn’t you think you could get a copy of your records?
“They’re my personal medical records. I don’t care who pays for it,” said Martha Lantz.
Martha, a bus driver, wants the medical records tied to her physical exam.
She needs the report for her new job. But she says the place where she got the physical, Dameron Occupational Health in Stockton, said no.
“They absolutely refused,” said Martha.
She says they told her it’s because she didn’t pay for the exam; her old company did.
“Frankly, I was very surprised when I heard this story,” said David Mastagni, a labor law attorney.
Mastagni says you have a right to any of your own medical records.
It says so right under state Health and Safety Code 123110, which says you are “entitled to inspect patient records… during business hours within five working days” of a formal written request with the health provider.
“It doesn’t make a difference who paid for the exam,” said Mastagni.
We shared the law with Dameron.
But they couldn’t explain why they didn’t directly give her her own records, instead admitting they referred her to her former company, saying quote:
“This is standard policy. Nothing was withheld or denied,” Craig Younnel of the public relations staff said.
In the end, we helped her get a copy of the records from her former company.
Now she won’t have to pay for another exam.
“That’s a lot of money for me. That’s groceries,” said Martha.
Again, you should be able to get a copy of your medical records if you put your request in writing. But realize they could charge you for copies.
If you’ve got a problem, complain to the Medical Board. Be sure to name the doctor. The board investigates doctors, not hospitals or medical clinics.