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How Do I Request My Medical Records? [What Is Considered Relevant Medical History for Medical Cannabis Applicants?]

Ruth Lemon
Ruth Lemon - Operations Manager

Sep 21 2020 - 4 min read

Different states have different requirements when it comes to getting a medical marijuana card. In all cases, you will need to provide evidence of the condition you suffer from in order to qualify for medical cannabis. The sorts of documentation that are acceptable include:

  • Electronic medical records (EMR)
  • Doctor’s notes
  • Medical test results
  • Lab reports
  • Progress notes
  • List of or a picture of all of your medications
  • Medical images (e.g. MRIs, X-rays)

If you already have any of the above to hand, you can speak to one of our physicians online right away!

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How to Request a Copy of Your Medical Records

According to the Health insurance Portability and Accounting Act (HIPAA) of 1996, you have the right to obtain copies of your medical records, whether they are maintained electronically or on paper. These include doctor’s notes, medical test results, lab reports, and billing information.

In order to successfully get your medical records, you will need to fill out a release form, which should be available at the hospital or clinic you are seeking treatment. Your healthcare provider’s Health Information Management (HIM) Department can provide you with the authorization form specific to your hospital. Many hospitals and clinics allow the authorization form to be filled out online.

Once you have your authorization form, you will need to provide your address, date of birth, social security number, and phone number. You may also be asked to provide the dates you received treatment, what documents you want released, and your reasons for requesting the records.

Most practices or facilities will ask you to fill out a form to request your medical records. This request form can usually be collected at the office or delivered by fax, postal service, or email. However, you can technically also write a letter to make your request. You will need to include:

  • Your full name
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Address and phone number
  • Email address
  • The list of records being requested
  • The dates of service
  • Delivery option (fax, post, email, in person)
  • Your signature

If you need help with getting a hold of your medical records, get in touch with Leafwell today, and we can help make the process as quick and simple as possible for you.

Medical records - qualifying for medical cannabis
By vjohns1580. From https://pixabay.com/photos/medical-record-health-patient-form-781422/

 

Who Can Request Medical Records for Medical Marijuana Patients?

According to HIPAA, other than the patient themselves, the following people may be granted access to your medical records if you have given them permission to do so:

  • The parent or guardian of the patient if the patient is a minor. In some states, reproductive and sexual history is not available to the parents if their child is 12 years or over.
  • A caregiver or advocate who has obtained permission from the patient. In some instances, the health care provider will provide you a permission form that the patient must complete.
  • Your primary care physician.
  • Third-party entities to whom you may have granted access to your medical records. This can include insurance companies, hospitals, labs, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and billing providers.
    In some cases, mobile apps that are monitoring your health.

What Healthcare Records Can Be Provided?

  • Any notes or records created by a provider.
  • Any diagnostic results for which a provider has copies. This can include blood tests, X-rays, mammograms, genetic tests, biopsies, and any other such tests.
  • Any information provided by another doctor that was used to establish a diagnosis and/or direct treatment

Records are usually kept for about 6 years.

Can Any Health Records Be Withheld from Being Provided?

Yes, requests for some types of medical records may be denied. Medical records may be withheld if they are:

  • Psychotherapy notes – these are not always included in your medical record. However, if you have been prescribed a medication for a psychiatric problem, this will show up on your health records.
  • Being used to compile a case for a lawsuit.

You can file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services if you feel you have been unfairly denied.

Does It Cost Anything to Request My Health Records?

This can differ according to state, but yes, it does. States usually charge between 25 cents and 75 cents per printed page.

How Long Does It Take to Receive My Medical Health Records?

Electronic records can be viewable almost immediately. Printed copies can take some time to be processed and sent, and can take up to 30 or even 60 days to arrive, depending on state and the number of records requested. In most cases, though, it is sent within the week.

Which Conditions Can Qualify for Medical Marijuana?

Different states have different qualifying conditions. The following conditions are likely to qualify you in pretty much every state with a medical marijuana program:

If you want more information about the process for getting a medical marijuana card, you may find our ‘Ultimate Guide to Getting a Medical Marijuana Card‘ useful.

When you’re ready to qualify for a medical marijuana card, then get in touch with Leafwell. Our friendly, medical marijuana doctors are here to help.

Booking a consultation with a doctor for a physician's recommendation or medical cannabis certificate and medical marijuana card with Leafwell.
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Written by
Ruth Lemon
Ruth Lemon - Operations Manager

Ruth Lemon has worked in Cambodia and Australia, gaining experience in the non-profit sector, education and international development, and digital marketing. New to the cannabis sector, Ruth is helping Leafwell to scale without compromising the customer experience and seeks to create a frictionless customer journey. She now lives in the UK with her rescued Cambodian cat and believes Leafwell is improving access to and understanding of a valuable medical alternative.

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