- Coding and abstracting medical records
- Record processing
- Record retrieval and filing
- Newborn birth certificate processing
To receive medical records for release of information, requests must be submitted in writing and either hand-delivered or faxed to the Health Information Department. A photo ID must be shown in order to receive your records.
Fees for copies of medical records are $15 for the first 30 pages, $0.35 for each additional page after 30 pages. These fees apply to medical records that are released for private use, for insurance companies, and for legal issues.
Advanced Care Directives
A Living Will is a legal document addressing only deathbed considerations; a client unilaterally declares his/her desire that life-prolonging measures be discontinued when there is no hope of ultimate recovery. On the other hand, people use a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care to appoint someone to make all healthcare decisions, limited by certain elections regarding deathbed issues.
The client must be at least 18 years old and mentally competent at the time he/she executes either document but incompetent to participate in the decision-making process when either is implemented. It is important to remember that both documents are only applicable if the client is incompetent.
Under a Living Will, a client declares that if he/she is certified to have an incurable, terminal injury/illness and/or to be permanently unconscious by two examining physicians (including the client’s attending physician), that artificial life-support systems be withheld or disconnected. The client may also elect to discontinue artificial nutrition and hydration (intravenous feeding) by so designating on the form.
Under the Health Care Power of Attorney, the client makes three separate and independent elections authorizing the agent to:
- Direct disconnection of artificial life-support systems in the event of terminal illness;
- Direct disconnection of artificial life-support systems in the event of irreversible coma; and
- Direct discontinuation of artificial nutrition and hydration
In addition, the Health Care Power of Attorney form provides a space for the client to set forth any specific medical, religious, or other personal desires concerning his/her health care. The client may also use this section as a backup source for organ donation.
Both documents are signed in front of two witnesses and a notary public who acknowledges the client’s signature. The witnesses to a Living Will are sworn by the notary public and indicate that the client is at least 18 years of age and signed the instrument as a free and voluntary act.
The Living Will witnesses may not be the client’s spouse, attending physician, heirs-at-law or persons with claims against the client’s estate. The Health Care Power of Attorney witnesses may not be the designated agent, the client, spouse or heir or person entitled to any portion of the client’s estate upon the death under Will, Trust, or operation of law.
People are frequently confused as to why both a Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney are necessary or appropriate. The Living Will is helpful as a backup document: in the event that the client enters an irreversible coma and the health care agents designated in the Health Care Power of Attorney are deceased or unloadable, the Living Will sets forth the desires of the client concerning his/her death-bed treatment which may be followed by attending physicians. The law provides that to the extent that a Durable Power of Attorney conflicts with a Living Will, the Health Care Power of Attorney controls.
Copies of both the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and the Living Will are forwarded to the client’s primary care physician for inclusion in medical records. Both documents are revocable through normal revocation procedures.
Birth Certificate Requests
Hospitals do not keep copies of birth certificates. To obtain your birth certificate, or for questions regarding copies of birth certificates, please refer to the county recorder’s office where the birth took place, or contact Vital Records at the Iowa Department of Public Health. For your convenience, we have provided the contact information for both.
Lucas County Recorder’s Office
916 Braden Avenue
Chariton, IA 50049
Phone: (641) 774-3229
Iowa Department of Public Health
Birth Registration Program
Lucas State Office Building, 1st Floor
Des Moines, IA 50309-0075
Phone: (515) 281-4944