Your medical records are confidential. This means that the only people who can see your records are:
- Your doctors or other health care providers who need to see them to take care of you
- A person who can legally make health care decisions for you. This person may be your parent (if you are under age 18) or your legal guardian.
- Anyone you say can see your records. You may have to sign a paper to say it’s okay.
- Officials who oversee health care.
If you’re under 18, there may be times when your parents or guardians aren’t allowed to see some of your medical records.
- Your parent or guardian can’t see your medical records, unless you say it’s okay, if you have been or are currently:
- in the military, or
- have been legally emancipated by a court. (To be legally emancipated means that the court has said you can make decisions for yourself even if you are not yet 18.)
- You have to say it’s okay for your parent or guardian to see your medical records if the records are about medical services that didn’t need your parent’s permission to get. This might include treatment for:
- sexually transmitted diseases
- drug dependence, or
- treatment for rape or other types of sexual abuse.
Most Vermonters have a medical record in the Vermont Health Information Exchange. When you see a doctor or healthcare provider who participates, an electronic record may be sent to the Health Information Exchange. This record is ready for the next doctor you see so they know your health history. If you want the benefit of your providers being on the same page, you don’t need to anything at all. If you’d prefer to not share your records, you don’t have to. That’s called “opting out.” Learn more about the Vermont Health Information Exchange and your options.
You have the right to read or get copies of your own records. See our web page about How to Get Your Medical Records for details.