Health Information Management Services (HIMS) - New York/New Jersey VA Health Care Network
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New York/New Jersey VA Health Care Network

 

Health Information Management Services (HIMS)

two doctors reviewing patient charts
Contents
HIMS Services
Release of Information
Retention of Patient Records
Frequently Asked Questions
Contact Information
Retention of Patient Records

The VA Records Center & Vault (VA RC&V) in Neosho, MO is where your medical records are retired. Your records are transferred to the retirement center after they have been inactive for three years. The retirement center keeps your records for 75 years unless they are recalled by the Medical Center.

There are four statutes, which govern the release of information for patient medical records.

Privacy Act (PA) OF 1974
(5 U.S.C. § 552a)
  • Patients may request in writing to have access to, correct, amend, or obtain a copy of their own medical record.
  • Patients are not required to state a reason for wanting to see a copy of their records.
  • Patients may request an amendment to their record. The request must be in writing and describe exactly what they feel is inaccurate.
  • Under the PA, records of a deceased patient (excluding drug, alcohol, sickle cell anemia, or HIV) do not require a written consent for release of information. Record’s including drug, alcohol, sickle cell anemia, or HIV can only be released by a court order.
VA Claims Confidentiality Statute
(38 U.S.C. 3301; 38 CFR 1.500-1.527)

This statute provides for the confidentiality of all patient names and addresses. Release of this information is only permissible under 38 CFR 1.500-1.527

7332 Information
(38 U.S.C. 4132; 42 CFR 2.1-2.67)

This statute provides for the confidentiality of patient medical records that contain drug abuse, alcohol, sickle cell anemia, or HIV information. Information is only released under the consent of the patient.

Amendments

On occasion there may be something entered into your medical record that you find to be disagreeable. If this occurs, there is a process that can help you change or amend your record.

  • Your request must be writing.
  • You must adequately describe the specific information that you believe to be inaccurate, incomplete, irrelevant, or untimely.
  • Your doctor will be contacted to review the change. If your doctor agrees to the change, that information will be changed and a copy will be mailed to you.
  • If the doctor denies the change, you have a right to appeal your request. You will be required to explain in a letter why you are appealing the decision. It is beneficial if you include a copy of the denial letter sent to you.
  • You should send your appeal letter to:
    General Counsel (024)
    Department of Veterans Affairs
    810 Vermont Avenue
    Washington, DC 20420