Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


To return to the Medical Records list page click here.

 

How do I obtain copies of my health information? /Is there a form I can complete to obtain a copy of my medical records?

Patients or their representatives should completed and submit an Authorization to Release Protected Health Information (PHI) using this link.

The completed form should be submitted to the HIM department email, fax, mail, or in person.  See listing under Contacts

Note: You will need 1 form of picture identification scanned and sent to complete the online authorization.

If patient is deceased, incompetent/incapacitated, a minor under twelve years old, or a minor over twelve years old and under eighteen years old see Unique Circumstance here.

How will I receive copies of my health information?

You will receive the information in your preferred method that you indicated on your online application, whether an electronic copy of records by secure email, regular mail CD, mail paper records (i.e.,USPS/FEDEX/UPS), fax, or connect to patient portal.  All preferred delivery methods will be validated prior to release.

Can I do the paper form?

Yes, if you are unable to scan and send picture identification, you can print the paper form, complete it and mail or bring to the Health Information Management (HIM)/Medical Records department.

Note: The form is available on WHMC website here

Where do I send the completed form if in paper?

On the WHMC website is a listing of all contact information to reach out to in regards to copies of health information. Click here.

Do I have to come in person to pick up medical records?

No, they will be delivered as requested in the authorization form, unless you specify that you would like to pick them up.

I am a healthcare proxy. How do I get copy of my parent’s medical record?

Contact the HIM department for guidance.

Are there any fees?

There is no fee if the records are being released to a doctor or healthcare provider for treatment purposes (continuity of care).  An abstract of your records is free as well.  In accordance with federal and New York state laws, there is generally a cost-based fee if the records are being released for different purposes.  The cost can be discussed with the HIM department.

What is an abstract?

An abstract is a summary of medical record necessary for treatment purposes (continuity of care) which includes, but not limited to, the discharge note/instructions, procedure/operative reports, consultations, history and physicals, labs, imaging studies, pathology reports, problem list, and medications, as well as 2 years of outpatient visit notes.

How long will it take to receive the medical records?

  • Requests for treatment purposes such as going to a follow up appointment, consultation or another healthcare facility will be expedited and sent to the healthcare provider before your schedule appointment.
  • Requests from the patient and/or patient representative will be processed within 10 days from the date received.  In event the records are maintained offsite, WHMC will communicate this within 10 days to the requestor and the request will be processed within 30 days of receipt unless unforeseeable circumstances exist, in which case you will be contacted by the HIM department.
  • All other requests (such as disability requests and those from attorneys and insurance companies’) are processed within 30 days of receipt, unless unforeseeable circumstances exist, in which case you will be contacted by the HIM department.
  • Patients should allow 3 days from submission before calling for status, or 5 days if the request was mailed.

What should I do if I want my medical records sent to my doctor?

Please complete the Authorization form and submit it to the HIM department and in the “To disclose to” section include your physician’s information, including physician’s name, mailing address, phone number, and fax number.

Or

Your physician may submit a request for your records directly to WHMC’s HIM department.

Why do I have to fill out another form, in addition to the forms I filled out in the hospital?

The forms that you completed and signed while you were in the hospital did not include the WHMC Authorization form.

Who can request copies of health information for a minor child?

If the patient is a minor under twelve (12), Health Information Management (HIM)/Medical Records will request that the parent or legal guardian sign the authorization form.

 

If the patient is a minor over twelve (12) and under eighteen (18) who must sign:

  • The parents or legally appointed guardian
  • If the patient is an emancipated minor (married or self-supporting and living apart from parent’s residence) patient may sign
  • For non-behavioral health patient access request both a parent or legally appointed guardian and minor must sign
  • For behavioral health request including patient access the minor must sign

How do I get copies of the health information for family member who has expired?

 

The Executor, Administrator or, if no Executor or Administrator, a Distributee of the estate must complete the online form and upload a copy of the death certificate and proof of their status as Executor or Administrator as supporting information or provide a completed WHMC Distributee Certification Form.


 [LS1]PHL § 18 Requirements for Record Release

 

(1) “Distributee(s)” Only

a. Preliminary check of record to determine validity of claim (e.g., is there a spouse listed when brother claims status?) Ä b. Necessary documentation to release under § 18: 1. Affidavit attesting to “dual” compliance with statute; 2. Copy of certified copy of decedent’s death certificate; 3. Fully executed HHC or OCA HIPAA-Compliant Authorization Form signed by the distributee.

(2) Power of Attorney Only

 a. Power of Attorney executed by a patient empowering an attorney, and no other person, to make written request for patient information. b. Power of attorney must be signed by the patient and notarized. c. Power of attorney must explicitly state that it is authorizing the holder “to execute a written request for patient information under § 18 of the Public Health Law.” Ä d. Necessary documentation to release under § 18: 1. Signed & notarized power of attorney; 2. Fully executed HHC or OCA HIPAA-Compliant Authorization Form signed by the attorney “appointed” or named as attorney-in-fact by the power of attorney.

 (3) Combination of “Distributee(s)” and Power of Attorney

 a. Simply requires all that is necessary to satisfy both situations described above (but: only one authorization form required). NYCHHC – Office of Legal Affairs NYPHL § 18(1)(g) – Fact Sheet; ver. 092305 Ä b. Necessary documentation to release under § 18: 1. Affidavit attesting to “dual” compliance with statute; 2. Copy of certified copy of decedent’s death certificate; 3. Notarized power of attorney signed by the distributee; 4. Fully executed HHC or OCA HIPAA-Compliant Authorization Form signed by the attorney “appointed” or named as attorney-in-fact by the power of attorney.

 

 How do I get copies of my radiology films/billing records?

Follow the same process to request radiology records by Authorization to Release Protected Health Information (PHI) using this link.  Then submit to the Radiology Department/Billing Department to the following contact here.

Is there a number I can call if I need help with completing the form or to check on a request I submitted?

Yes, for WHMC health information request, you can call (718) 963-7153.  This number is available Monday through Friday from 8am-5pm EST.

Why do I have to wait for the doctor to approve release of my records for behavioral health?

HIPAA and state law consider some treatment information as sensitive and allow for review and approval by the physician to release these records.

The information in my medical record is incorrect.  How can I change it?

You can request a change or amendment by completing and submitting a Request for Amendment of Protected Health Information here.

What if I have a court order for information?

For all other inquires not listed above, please contact the HIM department here.

Or

Any 3rd party requestors should contact the HIM department here.

 

How do I obtain access to the patient portal FollowMyHealth?

Please contact IT Clinical Informatics department here.