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I have a question about my medical record and release of information

1. Why is it important to maintain a medical record?

Each time you visit a Hall Health Center provider, a record of your visit is made. Typically this record contains your symptoms, examination and text results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information, often called your health or medical record, serves as:

  • The basis for planning medical care and treatment
  • A means of communication among the many health care professionals who contribute to your care
  • A legal document describing all the health care received by the patient
  • A source of data for research and planning
  • A means by which you or a third-party payer can verify that the services billed are actually provided

2. Who maintains my Hall Health Center medical record?

Hall Health Center maintains an individual and confidential medical record for each person receiving care.

3. Who owns my medical record? (Please note: laws may vary from state to state)

Your health record is the physical property of the healthcare provider/facility but you have a right to:

  • Review and/or have a copy of that record
  • Ask to have your medical record corrected
  • Not have your medical information disclosed to others unless you direct us to do so or unless the law authorizes or compels us to do so

4. Can my medical record be disclosed without my authorization?

Yes, there are state laws, which provide disclosure without patient authorization but every effort is made to get a written authorization from the patient prior to release.

Examples: Referrals to another provider, court orders, and insurance companies for billing purposes.

5. How can I request a review of my medical record?

Contact your clinic/provider to set-up time to review your record. When you come in to review your record, you will be asked to sign a written Authorization to Release Medical Records.

For Mental Health Clinic records, contact the clinic or your provider. When you come in to review your record you will be asked to sign a written authorization.

6. How do I request a personal copy of my medical record?

See the Medical Records Department page for forms and instructions.

7. How do I request a transfer of my medical record to another provider or facility?

See the Medical Records Department page for forms and instructions.

8. Is there a charge involved?

See the Medical Records Department page for charges.

9. How long does it take to process a release of information?

See the Medical Records Department page for information on processing times.

10. How long will HHC maintain my medical record?

According to Washington State law, medical records must be kept 10 years from the last date of encounter or 10 years after the patient is 18 years of age, whichever is longer. (The retention cycle may vary from state to state. Check with your provider or health care facility for specific information.)

Additional resources

There are many organizations that provide information to health care consumers related to medical records.  If you have any questions or concerns related to your medical record you may contact your provider or clinic. Some health care facilities have a medical records department that can address your questions or concerns.

For a directory of Hall Health clinics, click here.