Florida expands patient access to medical records

A Florida state Supreme Court decision has given patients access to medical error and incident reports prepared by providers, overturning legislation that had limited such access. As things stood in Florida, patients had access to a wide range of records compiled by providers, including documents created for or by peer review committees, which were created prior to Nov. 2, 2004, the date when a state constitutional amendment opening such access was created. However, after that date the Florida legislature created laws limiting such access.

Now, the state Supremes have said that the law limiting access violated the constitutional amendment voted in by consumers. The court not only gave patients access to documents created after the amendment, but also those created before it was enacted. The Florida Hospital Association is not thrilled by this, of course. No word whether they or other providers intend to fight the ruling further.

To learn more about the decision:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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