45 CFR § 164.524(a)(2)(ii) indicates:

  • Correctional facilities do not need to give patients access to their Protected Health Information (PHI)
    • A jail may deny an inmate’s request to obtain a copy of their PHI if obtaining such copy would jeopardize:
      • the health, safety, security, custody, or rehabilitation of the inmate or of other inmates, or
      • the safety of any officer, employee, or other person at the jail or responsible for the transporting of the inmate.

We recommend you allow them to inspect their medical records within 30 days of their request.

  1. Make a copy of the originals.
    • Do not copy “psychotherapy notes” (contained in mental health records). They have no right to copy or inspect “psychotherapy notes” (these are notes by mental health professionals documenting/analyzing the contents of conversation during a private counseling session).
  2. Allow them to sit in a room with a pencil and paper and review the copy and take notes.
    • Do not give them originals.
    • Supervise them so they don’t smuggle pages.
  3. When they are done, they may keep their notes but not the copy.

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All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only. The information presented should be treated as guidelines, not rules. The information presented is not intended to establish a standard of medical care and is not a substitute for common sense. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, may not be current, and is subject to change without notice. Each situation should be addressed on a case-by-case basis.