Letter to request medical records 2023 (guide + free sample)


This post covers a letter to request medical records.

Getting your medical records from doctors or hospitals is very challenging, especially with The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) in place. (This law addresses the use and disclosure of individuals’ health information.)

You must be persistent and continue to contact and send your medical records request letter until you receive the records to which you are legally entitled.

But you have to be careful not to overdo it.

Because the manner in which you request medical records can significantly affect how quickly you can receive them.

Here you will learn how to successfully do it as I will guide you through

  • what is Letter to request medical records?
  • Things to consider before writing your letter.
  • How to write an effective letter to request medical records
  • Letter to request medical records sample
  • FAQ

Let’s get started

What is Letter to request medical records?

A letter to request medical records is a brief statement of facts written by an individual or his legal representative to request specific medical information from the medical provider.

This letter must specify the relevant medical records needed.

For example, if you have been hospitalized for suffering from broken ribs, a broken femur, and a closed head injury as a result of a car crash, then you may request some or all medical records relating to your issue- x-rays, treatment plans, nurses’ notes, etc.

Things to consider before writing a Letter to request medical records

The following are the important things to consider before writing your letter.

By following these things you will increase the chance of your request being quickly approved.

Make sure you don’t have a pending treatment

The best time to request your medical records is when you no longer receiving medical care.

Because having an incomplete medical record may not help you in case you want to take your issue to your insurer or to court.

Remember the Online Portal

Before bothering yourself with letters, you should first check if your healthcare providers have an online patient portal where you can get the records you are looking for.

A patient portal is a protected platform where patients may often book appointments, contact their clinicians, and view lab results. Some of your health information, such as a list of immunizations, may be accessible via the patient portal.

If the health information you require is not available through the patient portal, or if your provider does not have an online patient portal, read the tip.

Check the provider’s Website

Your health provider’s website may contain information on how you can request your medical records from them.

So it is better to check it out before hitting them with your white paper.

A phone call may be enough

You can also obtain your health record by calling or visiting your provider and asking them how to do so.

Contact the administrative team in charge of releasing medical records or the department that handles health information services.

Pay physical visits

This may be better than a phone call.

Since you are no longer sick it is better to visit your medical provider and pose your request verbally.

Here you will have ample time to discuss all possible options to get your medical records.

But Isack, I still needed to write a letter


Here is how you can do it effectively

How to write an effective letter to request medical records

A letter to request medical records is written in a business letter format. Begin your letter with your address and contact information, followed by a date and the medical provider’s address, and state that you are writing to request your medical records and provide the details of the records you need.

Finish your letter with SINCERELY followed by your name and signature.

REMEMBER the aim of your request letter is to get your medical records from your medical provider.

The following is how you can write an effective letter to request medical records

  • Provide your name, address, and contact information
  • Include the date of the letter
  • Include the recipient’s name, address, and contact information
  • Provide the medical identification number or other identifier used
  • Describe what was the issue
  • Describe the service/treatment received
  • Provide the service start and end date
  • Specify what medical records you want
  • Make reference to governing law(s)
  • Provide how you expect to receive the records
  • Specify when you expect to receive the records
  • Be concise and to the point
  • Maintain a professional tone
  • Be honest

Sample letter to request medical records

Your Name
City, State, Zip Code


[Recipient’s organization]
[Recipient’s Street Address]
[Recipient’s City, State, and Zip Code]

Re: Request for Medical records
Patient Name:
SS No:
File No:

Dear [Recipient’s last name]

I’m writing this letter to request my medical records as allowed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Department of Health and Human Services regulations.

I was treated at your hospital for [name of disease-optional] from [start date] to [end date]. Therefore I request copies of the following records

  • physician and nurses’ notes
  • test results
  • You list them

Or you may simply say I request all records relating to my treatment

Please send the requested records to the aforementioned address.

I understand that you might charge a “fair” cost for copying the records but not for the time spent locating the records.

I expect to receive the above records within thirty days (30), as required by HIPAA. If my request cannot be fulfilled within thirty days, please notify me in writing and specify a date by which I can expect to get my records.




Letter to request medical records pdf

Can I request medical records for my dependents?

In general, yes, and the procedure is similar to getting your own record.

If the law allows you to make healthcare decisions for another person, you usually have access to their medical records.

You may be permitted to make health care choices for this person under state, military, or tribal law, or by the individual or a court.

You may have a medical power of attorney or authority as a health care proxy, for example.

A personal representative is a person who can lawfully make healthcare choices for someone else under the HIPAA Privacy Rules.

There may be times when an individual’s personal representative is unable to obtain copies of all or part of the individual’s records due to state or other laws.

For example, until the age of 18, parents or guardians are normally the personal representatives of their children.

However, some states classify teens under the age of 18 as adults, and some states may not allow parents or guardians to access some healthcare information about their teenage children, so they may only be allowed to view or obtain copies of portions of their children’s records.

How much does it cost to obtain my medical records?

It depends! but obtaining your records electronically, via a patient portal, health app, or email, is likely to be free.

Your supplier may, however, impose a reasonable price to cover solely the expense of:

  • Make a paper or electronic copy of your health record, as well as any electronic medium used (such as a CD or USB (thumb) drive).
  • Sending you a physical or electronic copy of your medical record

Ask your provider how much it will cost to obtain your health record when you submit your request.

If you require more than one copy, inquire with your provider about the cost of each duplicate and determine whether you will create the copy yourself or have your provider do it for you.

Do you want your service provider to provide you with information that they maintain on paper or in another non-electronic format? If this is the case, you will need to complete an “authorization” form, and your provider may charge a higher fee.

How long does it take to receive the medical records?

The HIPAA Privacy Rule allows your healthcare provider up to 30 days to deliver your health record.

If you selected a certain delivery date, however, you may receive your record sooner.

If your supplier requires more than 30 days, they must provide you with an explanation for the delay as well as a new delivery date.

They can take up to 30 days longer. Shorter timelines may apply to your request under state and other legislation.

If you request that information kept on paper or in another non-electronic format by the provider be given to another person, you must complete out a separate “authorization” form, and the HIPAA Privacy Rule does not impose any timelines for providers to react.

You can learn more about how you can obtain your medical from healthit.gov

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Isack Kimaro
Isack Kimaro

Holder of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. I am dedicated to providing valuable and easy-to-understand legal information for individuals at all levels of understanding. Whether you are a layperson looking to increase your knowledge, a law student striving to excel in your studies, or a practicing lawyer wanting to expand your expertise, I am here to help. I'm not creating content, I'm creating awareness to empower you to take control of your legal understanding and achieve your goals.