Following the death of a hospital patient, the family members of the deceased may have questions regarding the death and wish to see a copy of their deceased family member’s medical records. Pursuant to Florida Statute §395.3025, “any licensed [medical] facility shall, upon request” provide a copy of the deceased patient’s medical records to the Personal Representative of the deceased patient.[i] This Florida law is consistent with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) which states that if a person “has authority to act on behalf of a deceased individual or of the individual’s estate,” such person shall have access to the medical records of the deceased.[ii] Under the Florida law, if a Personal Representative has not been appointed, the “next of kin” may request the medical records. The next of kin is generally the closest living relative of the deceased such as a spouse or a child. This statute does not provide for the release of medical records regarding psychiatric care[iii] or addiction treatment programs and provides that anyone receiving copies of the medical records may not disclose the records to others.[iv]
If you have questions about how to obtain the medical records of a deceased family member, contact Michael P. Bonner at [email protected]. Mr. Bonner is an attorney with thirty years of experience handling medical malpractice claims for both healthcare providers and their patients.
[i] §395.3025(1), Fla. Stat.
[ii] 45 C.F.R. 164.502(g)(4)
[iii] §395.3025(2), Fla. Stat.
[iv] §395.3025(7)(a), Fla. Stat.