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Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 333.26265 - Request by authorized individual to examine or obtain medical record; response by health care provider or facility; extension of response time

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Michigan grants patients and their representatives a right to access the patient’s medical records, but limits this right in certain circumstances. Patients or their representative may access the patient’s record by sending a written request for access to the provider or facility that keeps the record. The patient must submit the request within 60 days of signing and dating the request. The provider or facility must respond to the request within 30 days or, if they do not have the record, within 60 days in at least one of the following ways:

  • Provide a copy of the record to the patient or make the record available for examination and copying during the record holder’s business hours.
  • If the provider or facility that receives the request contracts with an entity to hold the record on their behalf, they should forward the request to this entity. The provider or facility may then (1) retrieve the record and either send a copy to the patient or allow the patient to examine and copy the record during business hours or (2) direct the record holder to send the patient a copy or allow the patient to examine and copy the record during business hours.
  • Disclose to the patient that the medical record cannot be found or does not exist.
  • If the provider or facility does not have the record and does not have an agreement with the entity that has the record, they must inform the patient or their representative of their lack of access and, if feasible, provide the patient or their representative with the name and address of the record holder.
  • If the provider or facility believes that providing the patient with their medical record will have an adverse effect on the patient, the provider or facility must “provide a clear statement supporting” this belief. The patient may then designate “another health care provider, health facility, or legal counsel” to receive the record.
  • If the record contains information obtained pursuant to a confidentiality agreement and disclosure would reveal the source, then the provider or facility may deny the patient access. Such denial must be in writing.
  • Any party disclosing medical records to a patient must “take reasonable steps to verify the identity of the person” that requests access to the records.

If a provider or facility cannot issue a proper response to a patient or representative’s request for access within the specified time period, the provider or facility may obtain one 30-day extension by issuing a written statement to the patient or representative that explains the delay.

Current as of June 2015