FAQ on Patient Medical Records 

Frequently Asked Questions about
Patient Medical Records

  • How do I obtain copies of my medical records, records for a minor, or for a deceased family member?

To obtain copies of medical records you can visit the Health Information Management/Medical Records (HIM) Department located in the Medical Arts Building at John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital. You can also call (760) 775-8124 for additional information regarding obtaining copies.

  • What is the turn-around-time for requests for copies of records?

It may take up to fourteen (14) business days to process records for "personal use", i.e., records requested for yourself, attorneys, insurance claims, etc.

  • What if I need my records sent to my physician’s office in time for an appointment?

If records are requested for a physician’s office, the records will be mailed directly to the physician’s office (or faxed if the appointment is within the next day or two). There will be no charge to provide records directly to the physician office. Should you wish to hand carry the records, or obtain a copy for yourself, there will be a clerical processing fee of $15.00 and a charge of $ .25 per page as allowed by California State Law and HIPAA regulations.

  • Is there a charge for obtaining copies of my medical records?

Yes. California State law allows us to charge a clerical processing fee of $15.00 and $ .25 per page for each page copied.

  • I need my records for a doctor appointment, they are not for me, is there still a charge?

No. As a courtesy to our physicians we mail records for continuing care directly to the physician’s office. If appointments are too soon to rely on mail we may fax records to the physician’s office with the patient’s permission.

  • Can I request copies of my records over the phone?

No. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires certain information be specified in the release form and that the form be signed and dated prior to release of records. All requests must be submitted in writing using the appropriate release form. Only the patient or their legal representative may sign the release form.

  • Can I just send a letter requesting my records?

No. HIPAA requires certain information be contained in the release, and that the release be filled out correctly. Therefore you must use the pre-printed authorization form available in the Health Information Management/Medical Records department.

  • How do I get the authorization form and where does it go after I complete it?

You can come by the Health Information Management/Medical Records Department Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM to pick up or return the authorization. If you have access to a facsimile machine you can request a copy of the authorization via fax. You can return the completed authorization via mail or bring it to the HIM Department.


Health Information Management Department
John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital
47-111 Monroe St.
Indio, CA 92201

Drop by our office:

Health Information Management Department
Medical Arts Building at JFK
Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM

  • How do I get the copies after they have been copied?

If you have requested the records for yourself, you may return to the Health Information Management/Medical Records Department to pick up your copies. At that time we will verify your identity prior to releasing the copies. Copies can also be mailed to the address you indicate on the release form.

  • When I come to pick up copies of my medical records do I need to bring identification?

Yes. We will verify the authorization and your identity prior to releasing the copies.

  • If I signed a release so I could have a copy of my records, can I send my husband/friend/child to pick up the records for me?

The authorization is very specific as to whom the records are to be released. The only person that may pick up the records must be named on the release. That person must bring Government Issue identification, such as a driver’s license, when coming to pick up copies.

  • How can I get copies of my deceased relatives’ records?

A certified death certificate must be brought with you to the Health Information Management/Medical Records Department. The medical record must indicate the name of the next of kin. Family members trying to obtain copies of records of deceased patients should follow the following line of authorization. For adult patients the surviving spouse can authorize the release. If the spouse is not living, then children would be next of kin. For minor children, the parents or legal guardian may authorize release of information. If there is no next of kin stated on the medical record, you may be asked to produce court documents indicating that you are entitled to obtain copies of the record.

  • How can I get a copy of my child’s birth certificate?

The California Health and Safety Code, Section 103526, permits only authorized persons to receive certified copies of birth records. The person requesting a certified copy of the birth certificate must complete an Application for Certified Copy of Birth Record. The application must be notarized. Once the form has been completed and notarized, you will need to mail the form, along with a check or money order (payable to County of Riverside) in the amount of $18.00 to:

Vital Records
P.O. Box 7600
Riverside, CA 92513

The HIM Department at John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital is not able to provide copies of birth certificates. They are only available through the County of Riverside, Vital Records Office. You may pick up the application form from the HIM Department at John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital.

  • Can I get the application for certified copies of birth records notarized at John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital?

No. We do not have notary services available.

  • Who can I contact for additional information about medical records?

The John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital Health Information Management/Medical Records Department is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. We are closed on most major holidays. Call (760) 775-8124 for questions or more information. You may also e-mail questions to JFKPrivacySecurityOffice@tenethealth.com

Authorization Release of Health Info.doc