Skip to Content

735 ILCS 5/8-2001

Link to the law
This will open in a new window

Examination of health care records

All health care facilities, which include hospitals, nursing facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, independent practice associations, and physician hospital organizations, must allow the patient, or other person or entity with a valid authorization signed by the patient, to examine the patient’s health care records upon presentment of a written and signed authorization. 

A request for copies of the health care record must be in writing and given to the facility or health care provider’s administrator.  The patient or representative must reimburse the facility or provider for expenses associated with copying the record at the time of copying. The charges are not to exceed $20 for processing the request and the cost of postage and shipping, plus $.75 per page for pages 1-25; $.50 per page for pages 26-50; and $.25 per page for each page thereafter.  Charges may not exceed $1.25 per page for copies made from microfilm or microfiche, with the exception of digital or electronic information, which cannot be charged the same rate.  Electronic records obtained from scanning or digital imaging  may be charged at 50% of the rate for paper copies, which includes the cost of a cd-rom, dvd or other storage media.  Records already in electronic format may be provided in electronic form when requested, unless electronic transmission of the record is not possible due to electronic system, in which case the provider must inform the patient of that fact. This explanation may be provided with a copy of paper records.  The provider may also charge a reasonable cost for duplication and copying that cannot be done by a standard copy machine, such as x-rays or pictures. 

The request for copies and the aforementioned requirements must be fulfilled within 30 days of the request.  If the facility or provider needs more time to comply with the request, a written notice explaining the reason for delay and time that the copies will be done by must be submitted to the patient within the 30 days.  Regardless, a health care provider or facility must provide a copy of the medical record within 60 days of the request.

If a health care provider or facility is closing, it must provide the public at least 30 days prior notice.  The notice must include an explanation of how to get patient medical records.  The notice may be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the practice’s area. 

Failure to comply with the time limitations imposed by the law will subject the denying party to payment of expenses and reasonable attorneys’ fees in connection with court ordered enforcement of the law.

Current as of June 2015