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Requirements for Access to Clinical Records – N.Y. Mental Hyg. Law § 33.16

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Any provider of services to persons with mental illness or developmental disabilities must provide a patient or client with access to his clinical records upon request.  Providers must also permit a committee appointed for an incompetent or a guardian of a person with a developmental disability to inspect such persons’ clinical records.  Parents or guardians of a minor patient, and parents and adult spouses of adult patients may also be given access to the related patient’s clinical records, except where the treating practitioner determines that providing such access would be otherwise contraindicated.  Copies may be furnished by the provider at a reasonable fee not to exceed $.75/page.  Patients or clients over age 12 must be notified of any request by a qualified person to review his records.  For any request, the treating practitioner must review the requested information and determine whether the requested access could potentially cause substantial and identifiable harm to the patient, client or others.  If the practitioner makes such a determination, the facility may deny the requestor access.  The requestor may appeal the facility’s denial to the appropriate clinical records access review committee, which will receive a copy of the record and the facility’s explanation for the denial for review.  The access review committee’s determination may be appealed by the requestor to the state supreme court.

Current as of June 2015