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Know Your Rights: Full Access to Medical Records Can Keep Patients Healthy

Posted on September 5, 2014

Full Access to Medical RecordsMedical records contain crucial patient information that can be highly useful for future treatment and diagnosis. That’s why it’s important that all patients know exactly what is contained in their personal records. To this end, current law dictates that patients must have unrestricted access when it comes to information related to their healthcare. Keeping up with one’s medical records can help patients make sense of their general health goals and past history. Ease of access can also assist patients in identifying any discrepancies in their health care, as well as being in possession of the necessary information for visits with specialists and the like. This info is often essential to devising an effective treatment regimen for ongoing health concerns.

Understanding HIPAA

According to the Health Information Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA), patient information must remain protected at every level of treatment. By keeping records confidential, those receiving healthcare can rest assured that sensitive information won’t fall into the wrong hands. Another facet of HIPAA allows patients to access their own medical records any time they see fit. As a result, patients can request their medical records from a hospital or clinic, and must receive the most recent information related to their care from the appropriate source. This can prove greatly beneficial for maintaining one’s health and well-being in the long-term.

What Does HIPAA Cover?

When dealing with modern healthcare, there are many entities that have access to patient information. That’s why it’s important for HIPAA to provide all-over coverage, from the billing process to the doctors offering treatment.

  • Healthcare Providers – Healthcare providers are defined as any professionals offering billable treatment to patients. This includes doctors, dentists, and even technicians dealing with test results.
  • Public and Private Insurance Agencies – Insurance companies also have access to sensitive patient info. HIPAA offers coverage for both private insurance, as well as government run entities, such as Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Specialists – Those offering alternative treatments, such as massage therapists, acupuncturists, and chiropractors, may also be held to HIPAA regulations. This is usually decided on a case-by-case basis.
  • Clearing Houses – Many healthcare providers use third party services for billing purposes. Because these companies are responsible for processing patient information, they are also bound by law to keep records confidential.

Access to Records Is Part of Responsible Healthcare

HIPAA was initiated to offer privacy protections for patients undergoing medical treatment. A vital part of these protections affords patients the ability to remain fully informed by accessing their personal medical records. OrderMedicalRecords.com can help all patients quickly and efficiently access any pertinent info relating to their care. Armed with this information, patients can ensure they are actively involved in future decisions regarding treatment, no matter what that may entail.

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