Have you ever had difficulty obtaining medical records? In the United States, you should not have this problem. If you do, you can make a complaint. The vast majority of the time, a doctor should not withhold your records! You should always get copies of all of your medical records. You pay a lot of money to get them done and you are entitled to them.
From HIPAA's website. HIPPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”)).
Your Health Information Privacy Rights this is the summary, the easy to read version. An excerpt:
"Providers and health insurers who are required to follow this law must comply
with your right to…Ask to see and get a copy of your health records
ask to see and get a copy of your medical record and other health information.
You may not be able to get all of your information in a few special cases. For
example, if your doctor decides something in your file might endanger you or
someone else, the doctor may not have to give this information to you. In most
cases, your copies must be given to you within 30 days, but this can be extended
for another 30 days if you are given a reason. You may have to pay for the cost
of copying and mailing if you request copies and mailing. Have corrections
added to your health information. You can ask to change any wrong
information in your file or add information to your file if it is incomplete.
For example, if you and your hospital agree that your file has the wrong result
for a test, the hospital must change it. Even if the hospital believes the test
result is correct, you still have the right to have your disagreement noted in
your file. In most cases the file should be changed within 60 days, but the
hospital can take an extra 30 days if you are given a reason."
Here's the SUMMARY
OF THE HIPAA PRIVACY RULE put out by the United States Department of Health
and Human Services. The relevant information for obtaining medical records
is on pages 4 & 5 under "PERMITTED USES and DISCLOSURES"
Last but not least, if you have a doctor that refuses to disclose your medical information to you, you have the right to complain to the Office of Civil Rights. Here is a link to the fact sheet.