Startup Seeks To Hold Doctors, Hospitals Accountable On Patient Record Requests

By Lori Basheda
Kaiser Health News

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr)  “Ciitizen” is a Silicon Valley startup that requests medical records on behalf of cancer patients and redacts them for clarity and legibility. The service helps patients who may have records scattered across doctors’ offices, labs, hospitals and clinics.

Kaiser Health News

When Kelly Shanahan had her OB-GYN practice in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., she was meticulous about providing medical records promptly to all patients who requested them, she said.

But since being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2013, an event that forced her into retirement, Shanahan has discovered that not all of her doctors are as attentive to such requests.

Getting copies of her records has been, as she puts it, “a colossal pain.”

With few exceptions, federal law requires that health care providers make copies of medical records available within 30 days after patients request them and, when possible, in the format they desire. Under California law, providers have 15 days to hand over the records if they are being sent directly to the patient.

But many patients, who may have records scattered across doctors’ offices, labs, hospitals and clinics, say responses from health care providers can range from sluggish to churlish. Assembling the records can be onerous.

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