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How Do I Request Records From a Long-Term Care Facility?

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The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) regulates the release of medical records from long-term care facilities in Texas. The following rules govern the release of medical records from long-term care facilities in Texas:

A long-term care facility must release a resident's medical records to the resident or the resident's representative upon request. Please include valid authorization: Power of attorney; death certificate (document evidencing you are next-of-kin, if deceased); valid signed HIPAA.

The long-term care facility may charge a fee for copies of medical records. The fee may not exceed what a reasonable copy would run, which is comparable to a post office or library. The best practice is to request the records electronically. The fee may be waived if the resident is unable to afford it.

The time frame: a long-term care facility must release the records within 48 hours of such a request.

The long-term care facility must notify the resident in writing if it refuses to release the resident's medical records. The notice must explain the reason for the refusal and the resident's right to appeal the decision.

The resident or the resident's representative may appeal the long-term care facility's decision to refuse to release medical records to the HHSC. The HHSC will review the appeal and make a decision within 60 days.

If the HHSC decides that the long-term care facility was wrong to refuse to release the medical records, the HHSC will order the long-term care facility to release the records. The long-term care facility may be fined for refusing to release the records.

Here are some additional tips for understanding the rules governing the release of medical records from long-term care facilities in Texas:

Be sure to ask the long-term care facility for a copy of its policies on releasing medical records. Texas requires long-term care facilities to make their policies available to the public. 

If you have any questions about the release of your medical records, contact the HHSC. You may also want to consult with an attorney who specializes in health law. Contact us at (210) 361-9796 or at the link provided here.

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