How to Write a Letter to Request Medical Records

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Individuals request their medical records of a variety of reasons. Switching doctors, moving out of state, filing insurance claims and learning about your health are all reasons to ask for a hard copy of your medical records. A copy of your medical records can help you to keep track of tests, office visits, conditions and surgical procedures you may have had. By writing a letter to your doctor's office or hospital, you will be able to receive a copy. All individuals have the right to request and access their own medical history.

Gather as much information as possible. Include your full name as well as any other names you may have been known under while under a specific doctor's care. Include your date of birth, address and phone number. The more information you provide the easier it will be for the office to fill your request.

Request specific information. Tell your doctor's office exactly what records you are seeking. Include office notes, imaging studies, blood tests, physical therapy reports, inpatient hospital stays and operative reports. Include the time frame you were seen. Be as specific as possible -- include the months and years.

Include an address and name to send the information to. If you're sending the information to another party, such as a doctor's office or insurance company, inform the office that it will be receiving your records.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before you write a letter, contact your doctor's office. Many doctors use a medical release form, which can save you time. Simply fill in your personal information and the information you are requesting, sign it, and return it to your doctor's office.
  • You can have your medical records sent directly to yourself, another doctor's office or an insurance company. Be aware that there may be a charge. Check with your doctor's office or hospital.
  • You can only access your medical records. To receive medical records for family members or the deceased, you will need permission from your family member or the next of kin of the deceased.

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