What can you do if your doctor, or other medical provider, makes a mistake in your medical record?
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPPA”), a patient has a right to request that a medical provider change a medical record. Some medical providers have a form you can fill out and submit, or you can write a letter to make the request. By the way, you also have a right to inspect, review, and receive a copy of your medical and billing records.
Under HIPPA, the medical provider must respond within 60 days after receiving the request. The medical provider can take an extra 30 days to consider your request, if it informs you in writing of the reason for the delay. Your medical provider is not required by law to grant the request, but it at least has to consider it, and it must decide whether to grant or deny the request.
If your medical provider grants the request, it must inform you, and it must also “make reasonable efforts” to inform other individuals and entities that have the information. If it denies the request, it must give you a timely, written denial that explains the reason for denying your request.
If the medical provider denies your request, then you have a right to submit a written statement disagreeing with the denial. The medical provider can then write a rebuttal to your disagreement and provide a copy to you. The medical provider must keep a record of all of these interactions with you in your file.
If you believe your HIPPA rights have been violated, then you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Applicable regulation: 45 CFR 164.526.