UAMS.EDU

Patient filesHow do I request the release of a medical record?
At UAMS Southwest , our medical records department will be happy to assist you in obtaining medical records upon receipt of a valid authorization. You can fax, mail or personally deliver your authorization to release health information. You may be asked to show picture ID when obtaining medical records.

Phone: 870-779-6000
Fax: All for Kids 870-779-6125 | UAMS Family Medical Center and Neighborhood Clinic 870-779-6055

We are located in the UAMS Southwest at 300 East 6th St. in Texarkana.

How long will it take to receive my medical records?
According to the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) law, we have 30 days to process requests where the records are located on site and 60 days to process requests where the records are located at an off-site storage facility. If you have an emergency need, we will make every effort to accommodate the needs of our patients.

May I fax a HIPAA compliant request to the medical records department?
Yes. Please send your fax to 870-779-6125.

What is a valid HIPAA compliant authorization?
We are legally required to comply with the guidelines issued by HIPAA. HIPAA law sets the standard for a valid authorization to release information. The following elements must be included in an authorization request to be compliant with HIPAA:

  • Patient name and date of birth or Social Security number.
  • Who is authorized to release the records.
  • Who is authorized to receive the records.
  • A description of each purpose of the disclosure.
  • Information to be released must be the minimum necessary to conduct business.
  • Statement acknowledging the patient’s right to revoke or cancel the authorization in writing, the process for revoking the authorization, and a statement that the person cannot revoke authorization for records already released in reliance upon the authorization.
  • Statement of the patient’s right to refuse the release of the information.
  • Clearly marked statement that says this authorization may or may not include psychiatric or mental health records, HIV records or communicable disease records.
  • Redisclosure statement to include that if the information is redisclosed it is no longer protected under HIPAA.
  • Statement that UAMS will not condition treatment or payment on whether or not the individual signs the authorization (we will not refuse to treat you if you do not sign the release). But if the authorization is for research purposes, then UAMS may condition research-related treatment upon the signing of the authorization.
  • Expiration date or event.
  • Signature of the patient/legal representative.

What is a legal/personal representative?
The person authorized by law to act on behalf of the patient, such as the parent of a minor, a court-appointed guardian or a person appointed by the patient in a power of attorney document that is applicable to health care.

What does “minimum necessary to conduct business” mean?
UAMS may act to protect your rights by limiting the information released to provide the minimal amount of information necessary to process the request.

What if a patient is incapacitated?
If a patient is incapacitated and there is no health care proxy or other authority, the following individuals may act as Personal Representative for HIPAA purposes (see Ark. Code Ann. 20-17-214):

  • A legal guardian of the patient, if one has been appointed.
  • In the case of an unmarried patient under the age of 18, the parents of the patient.
  • The patient’s spouse.
  • The patient’s adult child. If there is more than one adult child, then a majority of the patient’s adult children who are participating in the decision.
  • The parents of a patient over the age of 18.
  • The patient’s adult sibling. If there is more than one adult sibling, then a majority of the patient’s adult siblings who are participating in the decision.
  • Persons standing in loco parentis (in the place of a parent) to the patient.
  • A majority of the patient’s adult heirs at law who participate in the decision.

What if a patient is terminally ill or permanently unconscious?
If a patient is terminally ill or permanently unconscious and there is no healthcare proxy appointed, the following individuals may act as Personal Representative for HIPAA purposes (see Ark. Code Ann. 20-17-202):

  • Legal guardian of the patient.
  • In the case of an unmarried patient under the age of 18, the parents of the patient.
  • The patient’s spouse.
  • The patient’s adult child. If there is more than one adult child, then a majority of the patient’s adult children who are participating in the decision.
  • Parents of a patient over the age of 18.
  • The patient’s adult sibling. If there is more than one adult sibling, then a majority of the patient’s adult siblings who are participating in the decision.
  • Persons standing in loco parentis (in the place of a parent) to the patient.
  • A majority of the patient’s adult heirs at law who participate in the decision.

How can I obtain records for a patient that is deceased?
Deceased patient records must be treated with the same protections as those for living patients; therefore, the health information of a deceased patient may only be released under the following circumstances:

  • With a valid, current (nonexpired) authorization signed by the patient prior to death.
  • If the person requesting the release is the person appointed by a court to act as the personal representative of the estate. Under Arkansas law, this would be an executor or administrator of the estate. There must be a court document, and a will is not effective until it has been probated in court.
  • If the information is needed for the treatment of a surviving relative, we can send the records directly to that relative’s doctor.

What if no executor or administrator of the estate has been appointed?
If the person requesting the records does not have an authorization and does not need to access the records for treatment purposes, an estate will need to be opened to appoint an executor.

How do I open an estate?

  • Contact a probate attorney
  • Contact the VOCALS nonprofit legal services program
  • Self-service