Do I Need to Bring My Medical Records to an Urgent Care Visit?

New York State law provides patients and other qualified individuals with access to medical records. There are some restrictions on what can be obtained, and doctors, other health professionals, and centers may charge fees for providing copies. This is the information you need to know in order to get your medical records. You now have the right to see your medical history.

New York State law requires that all health professionals and centers allow patients to have access to their medical records. No, there will be no fee for providing, disclosing, or delivering your history or copies of your history when requested to support a request, claim, or appeal of any government benefit or program, provided that, when a provider maintains your record in electronic format, the provider must provide the copy in electronic or paper format, as required by the government benefit or program, or at the request of the patient. However, if the committee decides that parts of the record are personal notes, the decision is final and cannot be reviewed in court. By doing so, not only is insurance fraud prevented, but it also keeps the most accurate electronic medical records, which ultimately translates into better care in the future.

Terms that are sometimes used to describe electronic access to this data include “personal medical record”, “PHR” or “patient portal”. Various state and federal laws allow patients to have direct access to information in their medical record, either by reviewing it, obtaining copies, or receiving a summary of their care. For example, some patients may find urgent care less intimidating and less embarrassing when evaluating symptoms associated with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than the health department or Planned Parenthood. Rather, the legal implications, insurance practices, and the integration of technology with medical records mean that providing anonymous care is nearly impossible.

If the records are going to be sent to a third party, such as another doctor, provide that person's name and address. Sometimes an urgent care clinic is needed because of an emergency that requires immediate medical attention; there's not much you can do to prepare for it. There are no emergency charges at MANA urgent care clinics; you pay the same co-pay you would normally pay in a visit with your primary care doctor. By treating a patient anonymously, the urgent care clinic cannot obtain this necessary precaution.

Regardless of the patient's motivation, urgent care is available and ready to help with unbiased and non-judgmental care, but they generally cannot do so anonymously. MANA Urgent Care offers sports physicals, laboratory services, occupational health services, and medical imaging. Generally, the hospital will respond to a patient's request to provide information to another party.

Bridgette Onken
Bridgette Onken

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