Old medical records?

Bob of Grand Haven Township asked, "Where does one go to get their childhood medical records? I've tried North Ottawa Community Hospital, (but was told) they don't keep records going back that far."
Mark Brooky
Mar 8, 2013



Bob said he was born in 1940, and the Grand Haven hospital does not keep records that far back. The health information management director for the North Ottawa Community Health System, Mary Oomen, said their record retention policy is to keep minor records eight years after the age of 18.

But there may be a way to get older medical records.

Access to your personal medical records is guaranteed under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996.

From medicalrecords.com: "Under this law, patients may submit a medical records request, and the personal medical records must be provided within 30 days. Though originally designed to provide access to paper medical files, the law applies to accessing electronic medical records as well."

In an article for About.com, Trisha Torrey suggested contacting your state's medical society to obtain old records from a doctor no longer practicing, which is Bob's case. You can write the Michigan State Medical Society at 120 W. Saginaw St., East Lansing, MI 48823; or call 517-337-1351; or e-mail msms@msms.org.

"Someone at the medical society should be able to let you know what became of your doctor's practice, and will possibly know where the doctor's records are being housed," Torrey explained.

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Our society has become so rediculas. Ferris State wanted my childhood medical records. I told them that is just plain dumb!! I was 25 at the time. Its just plain stupid like going to the Secretary of State. We need someone to run against Amanda Price on a platform of doing away with stupid bureaucracies.


Some old paper records just get shredded. You may never find them. Sorry


i would think that when you see new doctor, your records go with you, they request your records and they are transferred, in my case my childhood doc retired and sent me a letter asking me if i wanted them, but for a search fee


10 years is all that hospitals hold anymore. Pretty sad as there are certain things that as a youngster you need to know and may have questions to. I am a person who typically gets copies of any of my visits and blood work now. I hate going to the doctor or hospital but having a copy of my records does give me some answers when "INSURANCE COMPANIES" require some answers.
Thank God I've been fortunate that my memory also serves me well! Been pretty healthy most all of my life!


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