DPH: Access to Medical Records

Access to Medical Records

 
Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes and Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, practitioners of the healing arts are required to maintain medical records for a specific period of time. 
 
Upon a written request of a patient, the patient's attorney or authorized representative, or pursuant to a written authorization, a provider, except as provided in Section 4-194 of the Connecticut General Statutes, shall furnish to the person making such request a copy of the patient’s health record, including but not limited to, bills, x-rays and copies of laboratory reports, contact lens specifications based on examinations and final contact lens fittings given within the preceding three months or such longer period of time as determined by the provider but no longer than six months, records of prescriptions and other technical information used in assessing the patient’s health condition.  No provider shall refuse to return to a patient original records or copies of records that the patient has brought to the provider from another provider. When returning records to a patient, a provider may retain copies of such records for the provider's file, provided such provider does not charge the patient for the costs incurred in copying such records.  No provider shall charge more than sixty-five cents per page and the cost of first class postage, if applicable, for furnishing a health record pursuant to this subsection, except such provider may charge a patient the amount necessary to cover the cost of materials for furnishing a copy of an x-ray, provided no such charge shall be made for furnishing a health record or part thereof to a patient, his attorney or authorized representative if the record or part thereof is necessary for the purpose of supporting a claim or appeal under any provision of the Social Security Act and the request is accompanied by documentation of the claim or appeal.  A provider shall furnish a health record request pursuant to this section within thirty days of the request.  No health care provider, who has purchased or assumed the practice of a provider who is retiring or deceased, may refuse to return original records or copied records to a patient who decides not to seek care from the successor provider. When returning records to a patient who has decided not to seek care from a successor provider, such provider may not charge a patient for costs incurred in copying the records of the retired or deceased provider.
 
If a provider, as defined in Section 20-7b of the General Statutes reasonably determines that the information is detrimental to the physical or mental health of the patient, or is likely to cause the patient to harm himself or another, he may withhold the information from the patient.  The information may be supplied to an appropriate third party or to another provider who may release the information to the patient.  If disclosure of information is refused by a provider under this subsection, any person aggrieved thereby may, within thirty days of such refusal, petition the superior court for the judicial district in which he resides for an order requiring the provider to disclose the information.  Such a proceeding shall be privileged with respect to assignment for trial.  The court, after hearing and an in camera review of the information in question, shall issue the order requested unless it determines that such disclosure would be detrimental to the physical or mental health of the person or is likely to cause the person to harm himself or another.

In the event that a provider abandons his or her practice, the Commissioner of Public Health may appoint a licensed health care provider to be the keeper of the records, who shall be responsible for disbursing the original records to the provider's patients, upon the request of any such patient.

Please select this link for the statutes and regulations that govern access to medical records.




Content Last Modified on 1/10/2016 10:48:33 AM