Senate Appropriations Committee Votes to Protect a Patient’s Right to Medical Records

May 22, 2018

(SACRAMENTO) – Today, Senator Richard D. Roth’s Medical Records Protection Act received unanimous support from the Senate Appropriations Committee. A 7 to 0 vote now has SB 1238 on its way to the Senate Floor.

“What we are trying to do is bring existing law out of the dark ages by guaranteeing a patient has access to their medical records when they need them most,” said Senator Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside). “The helplessness a patient, or that patient’s family must feel when they hear that a health provider has destroyed their records without that patient’s consent is egregious and, frankly, unforgivable.”

This bill requires that a healthcare provider send a simple notice, via email or post, to a patient’s last known address, notifying them that their personal healthcare record will be destroyed and when. The patient then has the right to make arrangements to receive their medical records before they are destroyed. Healthcare providers that store personal health records electronically, with no plans to delete those records, are exempt from the final notice requirement.

Senator Roth continued: “This bill tackles a question patients shouldn't have to ask: whether or not their medical records will still be there when they need them. Answering that question with a guarantee – potentially saving patients from unnecessary procedures – is, quite simply, priceless.”

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Senator Richard D. Roth represents the 31st State Senate District, which includes the communities of Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, March Air Reserve Base, Moreno Valley, Norco, Perris and Riverside. Prior to his election, he served for 32 years in the United States Air Force, retiring in 2007 in the grade of Major General.