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A New Federal Rule Will Make Accessing Your Medical Records Easier

Starting this month, healthcare providers must give patients free access to their electronic medical records.

iPad with image of medical record

When we work with clients who have incurred serious injuries in a car accident or in a bad slip and fall accident, their injury-care and recovery generally takes many months, and sometimes even years, to complete. We’ve seen traumatic brain injuries or spine injuries that require a lifetime of treatment, and that is why settlements for those difficult cases are sometimes in the millions, as was the case with a $43.1 million verdict handed down in 2013 in Vermont, when a woman suffered a C4-C-5 spinal cord injury when her car was rear-ended while she was waiting at a red light.

In order to understand our clients’ injuries and treatment, and to better assess what our clients require and deserve in serious injury cases, we need access to their medical records, which isn’t always a simple task. In fact, a majority of the work performed by our excellent paralegals involves diligently pursuing medical and billing records. This month, however, our job will be made a little bit easier with the implementation of a new rule that requires healthcare providers to give patients free access to all the health information in their electronic medical records, and to do so “without delay.”

This is thanks to the bipartisan federal 21st Century Cures Act, which says in part that clinical notes are information that cannot be blocked and must be made available free of charge to patients. This means that you will be able to see any of your healthcare notes anytime you need them, without having to wait. Access to your medical records is a key factor in being able to take control of your health and well-being, whether or not you are dealing with a severe injury or health crisis. Health care notes are an integral part of everyone’s medical care, and we are pleased to see access to them improved.

Whenever an individual is dealing with ongoing treatment for a medical issue or injury, the ability of a patient to track their treatment and progress is crucial. It is also key to our ability to help you get the help that you deserve if you’ve been seriously injured in an accident. If you or someone you love needs help navigating the aftermath of a serious injury, Burnett & Williams is here to help. Contact us anytime at @burnettandwilliams.com or 800-969-1650 for a free consultation.