Release of Information

These are questions we receive often regarding the release of medical records.

What does Springfield Clinic consider as their active medical record?

Typically we use the most current two years of service as the active patient’s record.

How do I retrieve copies of my medical record? (Excludes Behavioral Health)

First, the patient must sign an Authorization to Release Medical Records. This form can be accessed by a variety of ways: the Forms section of our website, we can fax a copy, mail a copy or the patient can pick up at any Springfield Clinic location. Please see a receptionist or greeter to obtain an authorization.

Once a valid completed authorization is received by the correspondence section, the request is processed according to what was requested on the authorization. Example: we can mail these to the patient, or fax to the patient- but sensitive records may not be able to be faxed. Or, if there is a high volume of records. Also, we will only fax records if the fax machine is the patient’s own personal fax, NOT employer. We do not have the ability to email you your records.

How long is the authorization for my medical records valid (when does it expire)?

The authorization will expire 120 days after the date it is signed. This authorization will expire on the following specific date, event, or condition related to the purpose of disclosure (include date if an expiration date is necessary).

By law, authorizations are only valid for one transaction. A new authorization is required to be completed for subsequent transactions and requests. However, if the patient was seen in the duration of the time we were processing the request, we will accept the initial request to release the additional visit.

Can I obtain a copy of or alter my children’s immunization records if they are over 18 years old?

No. Once your child turns 18 years old, you are no longer authorized to obtain or amend their records.

If I am next of kin to a deceased patient, why do I need a POA or executor of estate paperwork to receive their records?

Unfortunately, you do not automatically have the right to a deceased patient’s record if you are the next of kin. Typically, a patient will assign a spouse or family member medical rights on their power of attorney for health care or executor of estate paperwork, per Illinois law. Next of kin is not always the person chosen to have medical rights to a patient’s record. A deceased person’s health record may be released upon written request of the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate or to an agent appointed by the deceased under a power of attorney for health care. When no executor, administrator, or agent exists, and the person did not specifically object to disclosure of his or her records in writing, then a deceased person’s health care records may be released upon the request of the following:

  • The deceased person’s spouse; or
  • If there is no surviving spouse, any one or more of the following: (i) an adult son or daughter of the deceased, (ii) a parent of the deceased, (iii) an adult brother or sister of the deceased.

Does worker’s compensation requestors need to send a request for records when they are exempt from HIPAA?

Worker’s compensation is exempt from HIPAA; however, Illinois has more stringent laws for sensitive records, and, therefore, a patient authorization is required prior to releasing sensitive records to worker’s compensation managers. If a patient is treated for a work related injury/accident and that date of service is being billed as worker’s compensation, then the appropriate worker’s compensation case manager/employer has the right to a copy of the note(s) regarding that injury/accident. A written request from the worker’s compensation managers is required in order to prove a request for such information and that our correspondence section released minimum necessary for the request.

How long will it take (processing time) to receive a copy of my records?

For a record release, it can take up to 30 days to receive your records. However, we process requests in the order they are received and we strive to process these as promptly as possible. Priority requests (upcoming appointments or emergencies) are processed as a STAT request.

We may be able to process a request same-day, given staffing and information is complete and available. Feel free to call the Correspondence Section and check the status of a request.

Who processes release of information requests?

The Correspondence Section, along with HealthPort, is dedicated solely to processing a variety of requests for all providers of Springfield Clinic.

Can I sign a release form and pick up the records and pay for them at the same time?

We make every effort to accommodate patients when they come in-person with a request and pay for records. Please call in to the Correspondence Section and arrange for record processing, pick-up time, and you may sign a release and pay. However, the Correspondence Section needs ample time to process the request and ensure we release by proper procedure.

Can someone other than me pick up my medical records?

Yes, only if the patient has written on the original authorization that specified person can pick up the copies of medical records.

When picking up medical records, a photo ID is required to show proper identification in order to protect privacy. Also, payment for records may be required before release of the records.

If I am having difficulty with my patient portal account (myHealth@SC) where can I go for assistance?

Springfield Clinic has patient portal support Specialists that are available during regular business hours to assist patients; our support line is: 855-264-2872 and our Specialists are available Monday through Friday between the hours of 8am - 5pm.