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Get it. Check it. Use it.

Access to your health information is your right.

Information Is Powerful Medicine

Having access to your health records is a powerful tool in staying healthy. With access to your health information you can make better decisions with your doctor, better track your progress and do more to be healthy. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, for short, gives you the important right to see and get copies of your health information.

Health records are a powerful tool in managing your care.

Get it.

Ask your doctor. You have the right to see and get copies of your health information. In most cases, you can get a copy the way you want it, such as by e-mail. While your doctor normally has up to 30 days to provide you a copy of your information, your doctor often can provide the information much sooner than that. If your doctor offers a web portal, you may be able to easily view and download your health information whenever you want. There are a few exceptions to getting your information, but you can’t be denied access for not paying your medical bill. Your doctor can, however, charge you a reasonable fee for a copy of your health information. The fee may not be a per page fee if your information is stored electronically.

Check it.

Check to make sure your health information is correct and complete. If you think something is wrong or missing, you can ask your doctor to fix it. Your doctor might not agree, but you always have the right to have your disagreement added to your record.

Use it.

Having access to your health information means better communication between you and your doctors, less paperwork and greater control over your health. You can request that your doctor share your information directly with others, like family members, a caregiver, a mobile application or “app,” or a researcher.

Information is key to making good healthcare decisions.

  • Track your lab results and medications
  • Understand your health history
  • Get x-rays and other medical images
  • Ask better questions and make healthier choices
  • Share information with those you want, such as a caregiver, or a research program so you can help yourself and help others.

The All of Us Research Program includes 1 million or more people providing health information to advance research.

Learn more at: www.JoinAllOfUs.org

Know your rights. Take control. Get better care.

Know your rights.

If you think your health information privacy rights have been violated in any way you have the right to file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

OCR is also responsible for enforcing civil rights laws that apply to recipients that receive federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age. Some laws may also protect against discrimination based on gender or religion.

We’re serious about working with you to protect your health information and make sure you have access to it. Know your rights.

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Information Is Powerful Medicine
Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on September 7, 2017