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American hospitals make it too hard for patients to access medical records

October 05, 2018 / Yale University

Many top hospitals in the United States are making it unduly confusing or expensive for patients to gain access to their own medical records, say researchers at Yale. Their study appeared on Oct. 5 in JAMA Network Open.
Since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, federal law has guaranteed patients access to their protected health information in a timely manner, in a patient's preferred format, and at a reasonably low processing fee. In order to assess adherence to these guidelines, a team of researchers at Yale conducted scripted interviews with the medical records departments of 83 top-ranked U.S. hospitals across 29 states.