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Maine Medical Records Laws

Each time you visit the hospital a medical record of your visit is made. A record contains your symptoms, test results, diagnoses, treatment and a plan of care. Your record is used for a variety of reasons primarily to plan your care and treatment. Your record may be computerized, stored electronically, and on paper.

Are My Medical Records Private?

The privacy and integrity of patients' medical records are protected by both federal and state laws, such as the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Many of the state health records laws require physicians and other medical workers to report instances of communicable disease in order to protect the general public.

Maine's medical records laws hold all privileged patient medical records as confidential, available to pharmacists when necessary. Here is more valuable information about your medical records.

Summary of Rights

In the State of Maine you have the right to:

  • See and get a copy of your medical record -- usually must let you see your medical record or give you a copy of it no later than 30 days after they receive your request.
  • Your health care provider is allowed to charge you a fee for copying your record.
    They can also charge you the actual cost for postage if you have the copy mailed
    to you.
  • Have information added to your medical record to make it more complete or
    accurate. In certain cases, your provider can deny your request to amend your record. If this happens, you have the right to add your own short statement to your medical record.

What Records Do I Have A Right To Get?

Your medical record includes such things as:

  • Information that identifies you, such as your name and Social Security number.
  • Your medical history
  • How you feel at the time of your visit
  • Your family health history
  • The results of your examination
  • Test results
  • Treatment received in a hospital
  • Medicine prescribed
  • Other information about things that can affect your health or health care.

How Do I Make A Medical Records Request?

Maine state law requires that a physician must make medical records available when a patient submits a request in writing. Patients often sign a release form, but a written request is the best way to communicate a medical records request to your health care provider.

Release Form

A patient must sign a medical release form each time they request a copy of their medical records. A release on behalf of family members, guardians, or parents can be signed annually.

Learn more about Maine's medical records laws below, with links to additional sources. See FindLaw's Patient Rights section for more information.

Code Section(s) Title 22, section 1711-C, Title 22, section 1711
Who Has Access to Records? Patient unless doctor thinks it would be detrimental to his health, then to an authorized representative (22 §1711); attorney general in a criminal proceeding although still confidential (5 §200-E)
What Privileges Apply to Medical Records? Doctor-patient; psychologist-patient (both abrogated in child protective activity) (22 §4015)
Mandatory Reporting Requirements Physicians must report certain communicable diseases (22§822) and malignant tumors (22§1402)
Where to Report Violations File a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if you believe your health care provider has violated your right to see, get a copy of, or amend your medical record. You can also file a complaint with the state agency that regulates your health care provider.

Note: State laws surrounding the issues of privacy and patients' rights are constantly changing. You may wish to contact an Maine health care attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching. Most attorneys offer free consultations.

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