Best Way to Transfer Medical Records When Moving

moving medical records

Moving from one home to another involves more than uprooting your family and personal belongings. It also involves a complicated series of transitions that ranges from choosing new doctors to switching schools. Each one has to be carefully planned out in order for things to go smoothly. Whether you’re moving locally or over a long distance, transferring medical records in particular is imperative.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (or HIPAA)allows you to take authority of your own records whenever you move to a new town or switch health care providers. The process can be confusing. We offer the following tips for the best ways to transfer medical records when moving.

Choose a New Doctor

This part involves a lot of research on your part. You’ll need to thoroughly vet a few new doctors in your destination city before settling on the best one for your needs. You may need several doctors, ranging from family and pediatric practitioners to specialists and dentists. Once you know who your new doctors will be, get their contact information so you can have your patient records sent over from your existing doctors.

Do this as quickly as you can in advance of moving day. Some offices are on board with the latest technology, with all records available digitally. Others still rely on snail mail to send records.

Decide Which Records

Ask your new doctors which records they need, to avoid sending too much that will just clutter your file. Immunizations? Dental records including x-rays? Records associated with past surgeries? Or simply the bare minimum? Different providers will want different things, so be sure to ask each one.

Submit Authorization

You’ll have to submit an authorization for the information you seek from your existing doctors. Ask how long it takes to transfer the documents. Are the records in paper form or are they electronic? Your practitioner cannot charge you for transferring your records to another doctor directly; however, they are allowed to charge a fee for copying and mailing records directly to you, advises Unpakt.

Make Follow-Up Calls

Delays can and do happen. Be diligent and persistent. Follow up and make sure they got your request and that the transfer is in-progress. HIPAA says they have one month to complete your request. Remind them of that deadline! If they are delayed in any way, then you are delayed. Don’t be without healthcare because you didn’t follow up in a timely manner.

Packing Them Up

If you opted to have the medical records sent to you first, you’ll have to make sure you pack them safely. Place them in a waterproof container or file folder for safe transport. Keep all files with you in your car when moving rather than place them on the truck. This is for security purposes, plus it makes them easier to locate when you start to unpack. If you do decide to pack them in a box and load them onto the truck, make a detailed inventory of what’s in the box for your own peace of mind.

Contact Around the Clock Moving & Storage


Serving Dallas, Fort Worth, Mesquite, Allen, Irving and beyond, Around the Clock Moving & Storage has 25 years of experience with residential and commercial moves. Please contact us to get a free, no-obligation estimate at 469-853-0045 or email us at
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