§ 401.55. Access to medical records.
(a) General. You have a right to access your medical records, including any psychological information that we maintain.
(b) Medical records procedures —(1) Notification of or access to medical records. (i) You may request notification of or access to a medical record pertaining to you. Unless you are a parent or guardian requesting notification of or access to a minor's medical record, you must make a request for a medical record in accordance with this section and the procedures in §§ 401.45 through 401.50 of this part.
(ii) When you request medical information about yourself, you must also name a representative in writing. The representative may be a physician, other health professional, or other responsible individual who will be willing to review the record and inform you of its contents. Following the discussion, you are entitled to your records. The representative does not have the discretion to withhold any part of your record. If you do not designate a representative, we may decline to release the requested information. In some cases, it may be possible to release medical information directly to you rather than to your representative.
(2) Utilization of the designated representative. You will be granted direct access to your medical record if we can determine that direct access is not likely to have an adverse effect on you. If we believe that we are not qualified to determine, or if we do determine, that direct access to you is likely to have an adverse effect, the record will be sent to the designated representative. We will inform you in writing that the record has been sent.
(c) Medical records of minors —(1) Request by the minor. You may request access to your own medical records in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.
(2) Requests on a minor's behalf; notification of or access to medical records to an individual on a minor's behalf. (i) To protect the privacy of a minor, we will not give to a parent or guardian direct notification of or access to a minor's record, even though the parent or guardian who requests such notification or access is authorized to act on a minor's behalf as provided in § 401.75 of this part.
(ii) A parent or guardian must make all requests for notification of or access to a minor's medical record in accordance with this paragraph and the procedures in §§ 401.45 through 401.50 of this part. A parent or guardian must at the time he or she makes a request designate a family physician or other health professional (other than a family member) to whom the record, if any, will be sent. If the parent or guardian will not designate a representative, we will decline to release the requested information.
(iii) Where a medical record on the minor exists, we will in all cases send it to the physician or health professional designated by the parent or guardian. The representative will review the record, discuss its contents with the parent or legal guardian, then release the entire record to the parent or legal guardian. The representative does not have the discretion to withhold any part of the minor's record. We will respond in the following similar manner to the parent or guardian making the request: “We have completed processing your request for notification of or access to _____'s (Name of minor) medical records. Please be informed that if any medical record was found pertaining to that individual, it has been sent to your designated physician or health professional.”
(iv) In each case where we send a minor's medical record to a physician or health professional, we will make reasonable efforts to inform the minor that we have given the record to the representative.
(3) Requests on behalf of an incapacitated adult. If you are the legal guardian of an adult who has been declared legally incompetent, you may receive his or her records directly.
[62 FR 4143, Jan. 29, 1997, as amended at 72 FR 20939, Apr. 27, 2007]