Accessing Medical Records

Do you have a complete copy of your medical records? From all of your providers?

If not, we can help!

It is extremely important that individuals diagnosed with cancer have access to their medical records. Each health care provider who treats you has their own file of your medical history, and it’s essential that you know your rights to obtaining a copy.

Why does accessing your medical records matter?

Having access to your medical records allows you to double check important information relevant to your care, share information with your caregivers, apply for disability benefits, and appeal health insurance coverage denials.

Our Quick Guide to Accessing Medical Records includes a comprehensive list of the many reasons to exercise your rights to get copies of your medical records. It also answers the following questions:

  • Who is required to protect your medical information under HIPAA?
  • When can I request my medical records?
  • Will my unpaid bills affect my ability to retrieve my medical records?
  • How much is it to request a copy of my medical records?
  • In what formats can I receive my medical records?
  • After I request my medical records, how soon should I expect to receive them?
  • Do I have to get the full medical record or can I receive a partial record?
  • What do I do if I want to correct something in my medical record?
  • Who do I contact if I am denied access to my medical records?


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that gives you the right to receive, inspect, and review copies of your medical records, usually within 30 days of making your request. There are also state laws that give you additional rights.  Visit our Chart of State Laws for more information.

Can you can get help gathering your medical records?

Triage Cancer has partnered with Ciitizen, a free online resource that helps cancer patients quickly and easily request their full medical records from all of their providers. Having control over your medical records is one key to navigating the many practical and legal issues that may impact individuals diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers.

For a more in-depth description of Ciitizen’s program works, watch this video!

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Monica Bryant