In Health Information Management (the medical records department), we maintain the record of your care. We are committed to keeping your health information as secure and accurate as possible. Our office is located on the first floor of Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
Health Information Management
310 Sunnyview Lane
Kalispell MT 59901
Phone: (406) 752-1740
Fax: (406) 756-3523
At your request, your doctor can contact us directly for information about your stay.
Below you will find the authorization form to release your health information, as well as answers to frequently asked questions about medical records.
Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information
Entity Checklist for Medical Record Release
How secure are my medical records?
Protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your medical record is very important to us. We are required by federal law to make sure that any medical information that identifies you is kept private. We cannot disclose your record to anyone else (including family members) unless we are authorized by law or directly by you to do so. This is a federal regulation.
Health care providers who are treating you will have access to your records. Information also may be sent to your insurance provider so that they will pay for care (or reimburse payments).
How can I get copies of my medical records?
You must fill out and sign an authorization form, show photo ID and pay the charge for copying. Copies may be sent directly to other health care providers at no cost.
How long will it take to get a copy of my medical record?
Please allow 5 to 10 business days for your request to be processed.
Where do I go?
The medical records department (Health Information Management) is located inside Kalispell Regional Medical Center. From the main entrance on the north side of the building, turn right at the first hallway past the elevators. Our department is the fourth office on the left.
What does it cost?
Obtaining a copy of your medical record requires a $15 fee to retrieve the records and $0.50 per page. However, we will send copies directly to other health care providers at no cost.
Does my record include X-rays and other imaging?
The record includes any reports on the results of X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans and MRIs, but a copy of the actual images on a CD must be obtained separately from the Diagnostic Imaging department.
If these are requested by a health care provider, there is no charge. However, a personal copy requested by the patient has a $35 charge.
Do I need to come in, or can I fax a request?
The authorization form can be faxed or mailed, but we do require a copy of photo ID. If the patient does not furnish us with photo ID, they can do so when they come in to pick up their records. Please allow 5 to 10 business days for your request to be processed.
What if I live out of the area?
Fax or mail the authorization form, along with a copy of photo ID. Please allow 5 to 10 business days for your request to be processed.
Can I ask to look at or read my medical record?
Yes. There is no charge to simply look at your record in our office.
Can you give me my medical information over the phone?
No. To protect the confidentiality of your information, we need to verify identity. In addition, we are not clinical personnel and cannot explain test results or other information.
Can you fax my medical information?
We can fax medical information to a health care provider’s office upon request.
Can you send a copy of my records to another health care provider?
Yes, a copy of your records can be sent at no cost to another doctor or health care provider.
Physicians who are caring for the patient and request records from us do not need an authorization form. They may call or fax their request. We consider this follow-up patient care.
Can I make a change on my medical records if I think something is wrong?
You can have information added to make your record to make it more complete or accurate. This is called the "right to amend" your record. In certain cases, your provider can deny this request; in that situation, you have the right to add a short statement of your own to the record.
Can my spouse get my medical records?
Only if your spouse has an active power of attorney in effect, and only for the records relevant to making decisions on your care. If there is not an active power of attorney, your spouse cannot access your records.
Can I get my spouse’s or child’s medical records?
Spouse: You may only access your spouse's records with an active power of attorney for his or her medical care.
Child: A parent may usually access his or her minor child’s (under 18) records. However, there are certain cases in which this may not be permitted, such as if a health care provider reasonably believes there may be child neglect or abuse, or for certain types of medical treatment such as STD (sexually transmitted disease) testing.
A person under 18 who is married is considered emancipated, and a parent may not access his or her medical records.
Can a parent sign an authorization form for a patient who is 18?
No. Once children reach the age of 18, they must sign their own release to give consent for a parent to access their medical records.
How can I get a deceased person’s records?
If you are the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate (such as executor or administrator), you have the right to get that person’s records from a health care provider. However, if there is no personal representative, those records may be accessed by the following in the order listed:
- A surviving spouse
- A parent
- An adult child
- An adult sibling
- Another person authorized by law to act for the deceased person
What is a power of attorney?
A power of attorney (or POA) is a written authorization allowing someone to represent or act on another person’s behalf. A financial POA appoints someone to make decisions and act in financial matters, such as paying bills and dealing with real estate transactions. A health care POA appoints someone to make decisions and give consent for health care treatment.
The person who gives someone else the power to act for them is the "principal."
The person who is given the power to act for the principal is the "agent." A person given the power to make health care decisions may also be referred to as the "health care proxy."
Power of Attorney Guide
Power of Attorney Forms
Information for Agent
Montana Uniform Power of Attorney Act (§72-31-301 through §72-31-367)
What is an advance directive or living will?
An advance directive (also referred to as a living will, personal directive or advance health care directive) is a written document that outlines the instructions for your treatment if you can no longer speak or make decisions for yourself. It may also appoint someone who can act on your behalf if you are incapacitated. Your advance directive is ONLY used if you are unable to express your own decisions about accepting or declining care. You may also choose to change or cancel your advance directive at any time.
How to Create an Advance Directive
Living Wills, Estate Planning, End-of-Life
Montana End-of-Life Registry
What are POLST and DNR?
The POLST (providers orders for life-sustaining treatment) form in Montana is a document that summarizes your wishes for treatment if your heart should stop beating or you stop breathing.
DNR stands for “do not resuscitate,” meaning that you do not want treatment such as CPR, a tube to help you breathe or medications to attempt to restart your heartbeat.
You can specify other end-of-life decisions as well, such as whether you want a feeding tube or antibiotics to be used.
Comfort measures (or comfort care) specify that you would like treatment to alleviate pain or discomfort, but not life-sustaining treatment.
Montana POLST (Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) Form
Where can I get more information about my medical record and privacy rights?
Understand your rights under HIPAA to access and receive a copy of your health information:
Office for Civil Rights: Your Rights Under HIPAA
Learn the meaning of many medical terms to better understand what doctors and nurses say:
Medical Library Association: What Did My Doctor Say?
Records of alcohol and drug treatment may be subject to additional privacy rules:
Medical Records Privacy and Confidentiality
Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records
Learn about Kalispell Regional Healthcare's privacy practices:
Patient Rights and Policies