To receive medical records from a hospital, you must fill out and sign an authorization form, states U.S. News & World Report. Once the hospital confirms your identity, it processes your request.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, the Privacy Rule of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) gives patients the legal right to have access to their medical records. There are a few exceptions. For example, patients may not access psychotherapy notes, and health providers can legally withhold information if they believe it might put the physical safety of the patient or another person at risk.
In addition, parents have legal rights to their children's medical records, states the U.S. News & World Reports. This legal right does not extend to parents that have lost legal custody. Stepparents, who are not legal guardians, and grandparents are also denied the legal right to access the medical records of children.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, patients can request to get their records in any form or format and the hospital must comply. This allows a patient the flexibility of receiving medical records by email or regular mail. HIPPA also grants patients the right to request an amendment if an error in a medical record is noticed.