1. Health

Making the Request for Your Medical Records Including the Cost

Getting Copies of your Medical Records


Updated June 11, 2014

How to Request Your Medical Records

Most practices and facilities ask you to fill out a form to request your records. Call the provider's office and request a copy of the form. They should be able to deliver it to you by fax, e-mail, or postal mail, or you may pick it up from the doctor's office.

If the doctor's office doesn't have a specific form, you may write a letter to make your request. Include this information:

  • your name, including your maiden name (if applicable)
  • Social Security number
  • date of birth
  • address and phone number
  • e-mail address
  • record(s) being requested
  • date(s) of service (months and years under the doctor's care)
  • signature
  • delivery option (pick up, fax, e-mail, etc.)

Simply drop off or mail the letter to the provider's office.

If your doctor is no longer in practice, or for some reason you can't locate the doctor or office where you think your records should be, there are some steps you can take to locate your medical records.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Records?

You may have to pay for the medical records copies you want. The price will vary due to several factors. Further, the pricing changes. Here is more information about how much it will cost to get copies of your medical records.

What Happens Next

Once you have made the request, you may have to wait for awhile before you get the records.

State laws regulate how quickly those records must be supplied to a patient. In some states, you'll be given access to review them in the doctor's office immediately but may have to wait from 10 to 60 days to obtain your own copies. Other states require access within 30 days. Those time frames may sometimes be extended if circumstances warrant.

Once you've obtained copies of your records, be sure to review them carefully. If you find errors, you'll want to correct them immediately to be sure they cannot affect any future diagnoses or treatment you may receive.

What If You Are Denied Access to Your Records?

There is a protocol and complaint system to follow if you are denied access or copies of your medical records.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.