“Americans have the right to access their medical records, but actually doing so is often complicated, slow and costly. – Sean Justice/Getty Images”
by Harlan Krumholz
“At a time when many insurers and health information technology companies are busily assembling databases of hundreds of millions of medical records, Americans find it difficult to get access to their own.
“If you try to get yours, be prepared for confusing policies, ill-informed staff, wasted time and high costs. Even then, you may not get the records you seek. And all of this is at odds with your federal rights.
“Last week a relative of mine relayed a typical story. She requested her medical records in digital format, a right endorsed in federal statutes. Now, two months later, she is still struggling to get them. The hospital had contracted with a third party, and evidently this company transacts only through snail mail.”