Medical Records Information
The Minnesota Health Records Act is in Minnesota Statutes 144.291-.298 (formerly part of Minnesota Statutes 144.335).
Section 144.291 definitions
Section 144.292 patient rights and access to their medical records, cost of copying medical records, when records can be withheld
Section 144.293 release or disclosure of health records
Section 144.294 mental health records
Section 144.295 disclosure of health records for external research
Section 144.296 when copies of videotapes can be released
Section 144.297 independent medical examinations
Section 144.298 penalties when there is a violation of the statute
Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Records
What can providers charge for copying a patient's medical records?
- You cannot be charged if you request a copy of your health record to review your current care. See Access to Health Records – Notice of Rights (PDF).
- Maximum Charges for Patient Records (PDF) shows the latest maximum charges and provides general information on the state and federal laws and regulations that impact these charges. The fact sheet is usually published each March. Providers can charge less than the amounts listed.
- Worker's compensation copying charges are different. Call (651) 284-5032, Minnesota Department of Labor, for information.
How long does the provider have to make these copies?
- The Minnesota statute does not state a specific length of time. It says "shall promptly furnish." See Minnesota Statute 144.292, Subdivision 5.
- Within 30 days according to the federal government HIPAA Privacy Rule. The provider may have longer to provide the copies under certain circumstances. See Requests for access and timely action.
Where can I get the poster "Access to Health Records Notice of Rights?"
- On the web, see Notices Related to Health Records to print a copy.
The poster is available in English (revised April 14, 2009), Hmong, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
This notice explains your right to access your medical record and when your medical record information can be released without your consent.
Providers must post the document in a visible place (Minnesota Statute 144.292, Subdivision 4) so patients can be informed.
Where can I find my immunization records?
- Call the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) at the Minnesota Department of Health at (651) 201-5503 or 1-800-657-3970. This is a registry of immunizations for Minnesotans of all ages but at this time more likely to have more data on children.
- If you had immunizations at a public health department, call them to see if they have your immunization records. For St. Paul-Ramsey County Department of Public Health (555 Cedar Street, St. Paul) call (651) 266-1323. For Hennepin County call Hennepin County Immunization Services at (612) 348-2741 and press 2.
- Call the schools you previously attended to see if they still have this information.
- If you were ever in a hospital, the hospital may have this information. If your hospital has closed, see below.
- Contact the clinic where the shots were given. If your clinic has closed or you can’t locate your doctor, see below.
My clinic closed and I cannot locate my doctor. I am looking for my medical records.
- Call the Board of Medical Practice at (612) 617-2130 or 1-800-657-3709. Ask if they have any information on your doctor’s current location. You can also look on the Board of Medical Practice web site to see if you can locate the doctor. Click on Health Professional Finder.
- Were there other doctors at the clinic whose names you can remember? You may be able to locate one of them to ask where the clinic records went.
- If you were ever in a hospital, there may be some information in those records. A hospital’s records must always be kept.
My hospital closed and I am looking for those medical records.
- Link to Locating Hospital Medical Records on the Minnesota Department of Health's web site. You can locate closed, renamed, and current hospitals.
- The Minnesota Health Information Clearinghouse can look up information on closed hospitals and tell you where the medical records were sent. Call (651) 201-5178 or 1-800-657-3793.
If I cannot resolve a medical records complaint with my provider, who can I contact?
Depending on the type of complaint you have, you may need to contact:
- a licensing board or agency
- an attorney
- the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Human Services, Chicago, IL
See Minnesota Statute 144.298 and the federal information below.
Information regarding some federal rules and regulations about medical records
For some federal rules and regulations about medical records see the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web site.
Contact the Office for Civil Rights, in Chicago, IL:
- to ask questions about the HIPAA privacy rule
- to file complaints by phone if there is a violation of the HIPAA privacy rule, including access and privacy violations
- to file complaints on the web
Call 312-886-2359, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. The Office is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.