This guide only discusses how to get and amend your medical records from health care providers who have to follow the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The guide mentions some related topics without discussing them in detail. Here are some resources where you can find information about these related topics.
Alcohol and Drug Treatment Records
Records related to alcohol and drug treatment may be subject to other privacy rules. You can get more information about these records at:
Massachusetts Medical Record Access Laws
Some health care providers do not have to follow the HIPAA Privacy Rule. These providers must still follow Massachusetts laws that give you the right to see and get a copy of your medical record. You can read the Massachusetts statutes that give you these access rights on the Web site of the Massachusetts legislature at:
http://www.mass.gov/legis/legis.htm. Look under "General Laws" for Chapter 112, Section 12CC and Chapter 111, Section 70.
Medical Records in General
You can read general information on your medical record rights, the flow of medical information, and how to create a personal medical record at http://www.myphr.com/
a Website operated by the American Health Information Management Association, an association of professionals who manage medical records and information.
You can find out the meaning of many medical terms and medical shorthand from the Medical Library Association’s Website at:
Your library might also have books or brochures that explain medical terms.
Mental Health Treatment Records
You can find a summary of your rights of access to mental health records under Massachusetts law on the Web site of the Disability Law Center at:
The HIPAA Privacy Rule treats most mental health treatment records like other medical records. However, psychotherapy notes (as defined by the HIPAA Privacy Rule) are treated differently. You can find what types of records are included in psychotherapy notes and how these notes are treated in the Summary of the Privacy Rule written by the Office for Civil Rights, HHS at: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/.
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