Medical Records Release Authorization Form | HIPAA

Privacy laws were set to prevent personal information from being shared without consumers’ consent to other parties who may not have the right to access the information. It applies to medical information, financial information, and other personal details of a person’s life. Medical records release authorization forms are needed to legally allow sharing of an individual’s medical information.

This post reviews what is required for a medical release authorization form, why it is needed, and when to use it. The intent is to help the consumer and the medical profession protect our personal information while enabling 3rd parties to access the information to provide medical services.

What Is a Medical Records Release Authorization Form?

The medical Records Release authorization form allows a patient to authorize their medical provider to release medical information to a 3rd party for review and action as needed based on the person’s medical condition.

There are many situations where these forms may be required. For example, your family doctor has arranged for several medical tests to be completed. They have reviewed the results and may feel that a specialist for further assessment should see you. Your family doctor may want to refer you to the specialist and share medical details with the specialist to assist with further diagnoses of your medical situation. Whenever a patient changes family doctors, information can be transferred from your original medical facility to the new doctor’s office with your consent.

This is just one example of a sharing situation. There are many different examples of consumers who are being requested to sign medical records release authorization forms. Patients should always review the form in detail and be comfortable with the information being shared.

Note: a medical release form can be reassigned or revoked at any time by the patient.

How to Write a Medical Release Authorization Form?

Medical release authorization forms must follow the HIPPA standard. HIPPA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

The request must be made in writing utilizing a standard HIPPA form for making medical records requests. There are four sections to the request:

  • Information must be provided about the person releasing the records and also the recipient of the records. In other words, who has the records, and who will they be sent to?
  • Information about the dates authorized for the release
  • Types of records – everything or all records or only specific records for a specified purpose
  • Date of expiration – a date is provided for legal purposes.

Depending on the chosen method, you may specify how the records will be sent – PDF, CD, USB, etc. The medical facility may charge a fee to prepare and send all documentation in the format requested.

Medical offices have 30 days to release the records, although five days is typically the norm. Be prepared to follow up with the medical facility if they have not been sent within these timeframes.

There are situations where you may have to request the release of medical forms for another person. They may be underage, incapacitated, or unable to make their request. You must have a medical power of attorney to legally obtain medical records on behalf of someone else or be their legal guardian. Administrators or executors of estates can also arrange to obtain legal copies of the medical records if required.

Some medical offices will charge a fee to prepare and send the records in the format requested. Each state has specified an amount that can be charged for these services.

Key Points

Medical records release authorization forms are needed to legally allow sharing of an individual’s medical information with other parties. Medical release forms can be reassigned or revoked at any time by the patient

Medical release authorization forms must follow the HIPPA standard. HIPPA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Underage persons, incapacitated or otherwise unable to make their requests, may request an agent to request on their behalf. You must have a medical power of attorney to legally obtain medical records on behalf of someone else or be their legal guardian. Administrators or executors of estates can also arrange to obtain legal copies of the medical records if required.

Many medical offices will charge a fee to prepare and send the records in the format requested. Each state has specified an amount that can be charged for these services

Authored by:
DocFormats Staff Author
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