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How to Transfer Your Medical Records When You're Moving?

It's natural that while you're moving, you'll be more than overwhelmed with the entire process. Did you know that moving is ranked as one of the most stressful events you can experience in your life, right behind divorce? So, we understand that you'll have to think about too many things that can get even more complicated if you plan on moving with your entire family and even pets. However, there are efficient ways to ease the move, and proper planning and organization are vital steps you should pay attention to. Also, it is important to conduct your budget properly in order to decide whether you want to opt for a DIY move or hire movers. However, that's not all you have to think about. Most people overlook some technicalities that should be taken care of, and one of those is the very common question, "How to Transfer Your Medical Records When You're Moving?

It doesn't matter if you are a senior or a first-time mover; forgetting to transfer your medical records can result in various complications that can be easily avoided. So, let's talk about it below.


Do I Have To?

Let's make one thing clear; you don't have to do anything, but transferring your medical records shouldn't be left for the end because it is the only way to make sure that you get medical care in your new city. Your doctor should have all the needed information on how to do it. If you forget to transfer the documents, your new doctor won't have your medical history meaning that it will be hard to help you with your health issues without proper insight into your past illnesses and specific conditions. By transferring your medical history, the doctor will be aware of previous lab tests, results, and prescriptions, meaning no repeated tests. If you have to repeat tests and get new prescriptions, chances are you'll have to waste an excessive amount of time and money.

What do Medical Records Include?

To get a better picture, you must know what your medical record includes. Typically, it includes past vaccinations, treatment plans, medications, test results, and other significant health information from your previous doctor or health provider, alongside hospitals, medical centers, and laboratories. However, in some cases, the medical record can have some additional information, so if you are interested in the exact information, your medical record includes, we recommend contacting your hospital or health provider.

By looking into the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act published in 1996, which is still active to this day, we concluded that you have the absolute right to see and get (to access) your medical records and send the needed information or some part of it to several different parties including your new doctor. However, it is important to be aware that the records belong to the health provider, meaning that you can have only copies, not the original. Nevertheless, you can't be refused wanted access to your medical information and records, even if you owe money for some reason. Who can access your medical information? Only your health provider, you, or your personal representative.

How to Transfer Your Medical Records?


Now, when you're properly informed of the technicalities, it's time to talk about the best ways to transfer your medical records when you're moving.

What Parts to Move?

This is a subjective question, meaning that you can decide which parts you want to move, which is very beneficial if you, for some reason, don't want your doctor to access your entire medical history. So, before submitting the request, decide whether you want to transfer certain immunizations, doctor's notes, lab results, hospitalizations, or your entire file. However, if you are in a dilemma about which medical provider to choose, we recommend getting ahold of all your medical records.

Make a Request

When you've decided which part of your medical records you want to move, the next thing you should do is submit a request. We must state that your health provider will have to sign a written authorization to move your medical record. So, in most cases, you'll have to fill out a form and send it to your doctor. This form should include your name, your social security number, your contact information, and your birth date, as well as any specific information about your medical history. Also, if you want the records to be sent directly to your new doctor, make sure to state that while talking with the current health provider.

If needed, pay the necessary fee for the transfer.

Did you know that you can request medical records in various forms, including paper or electronic copies you can transport on your USB or CD?

Can Doctors Charge You?


To avoid getting scammed, we are happy to inform you that no, doctors can't charge you for your medical records. However, they are completely allowed to charge you a certain and reasonable fee to cover the costs of saving, copying, or mailing the information. There is a chance that you will be charged an additional fee for film copies or digital copies of X-rays or MRIs. But, in most cases, you won't have to pay for anything related to transferring your medical records when you're moving.

How Long Will it Take?

Transferring your medical records can take some time, especially if you have multiple medical records from different health providers, and that's why it is very important to take care of the issue in a timely manner.

So, the best time to start with the process is at least a month prior to the move. This way, you won`t have to think about transferring your medical records in the middle of the move.

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