All About Medical Record Information

Health Records Online gives you access to your most recent records from any South Texas Health System (STHS) McAllen visit so that you can print your records or send them to your physician for follow-up care.

If you need archived medical records for care you received prior to 2014, or for care that is not included in Health Records Online, please read the following information about accessing your information.  

Medical records are the property of the hospital. Patients do not automatically receive a copy of their medical record when they are discharged from the hospital because medical records must be completed by all physicians involved in the patient's care before they can be copied and released to the patient. This process can take up to 30 days. Patients may receive a copy of his or her medical record, upon completion, for a fee (if applicable).

Patient-related information may also be released to a physician or medical facility for follow-up care of the patient when needed, free of charge. We encourage patients to request medical record information at least 10 days prior to any follow-up care.  

Medical Records Policy

Has It Been More Than 10 Years?

South Texas Health System hospitals retain hospital based medical records in accordance with the state's regulations. All records are maintained for not less than 10 years following the date of discharge, after which they are destroyed. This applies to both inpatient and outpatient cases that are hospital-based services.

If the patient was a minor at the time of last visit, records are maintained for a minimum of 10 years or until the person is 22 years of age. For babies born at South Texas Health System facilities, the record will be kept for 21 years before they are purged.   

How Do I Receive My Medical Record Information?

Step 1: Authorization Release Forms

The information contained in the patient's medical record is confidential. All requests for release of medical records information must be accompanied by an authorization form signed by the patient and a photo ID. If a patient has a representative, the representative would need to provide a copy of the Medical Power of Attorney. If the patient is deceased, the signature of next of kin is needed along with a copy of the death certificate. Death certificates are not maintained by the hospital (see death certificates information). If for any reason, the authorization is not HIPAA compliant, the Release of Information Office will contact the patient or representative for further information at the phone number documented on the authorization. 

Download a printable version of the authorization form (PDF) >

Step 2: Submit

Please mail or deliver in person to:

STHS McAllen
Attn: Medical Records Dept.
301 West Expressway 83
McAllen, Texas 78503   

Hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You may request your medical records for any South Texas Health System facility at any location. The completed form may also be faxed to 956-289-2964. Contact the Release of Information Office at 956-632-4061.   

Electronic Delivery of Records for Patients Only 

To receive your medical record information via the Internet, please complete steps 1 and 2. Be sure to indicate on the authorization form that you want the medical record information sent to you electronically and provide an email address.


Processing and copy fees are charged on a case-by-case basis. Costs may vary depending on the type of request.

Copy Costs: No pre-payment is needed to determine a page count, but once the count is processed the patient will receive an invoice from Health Port. The invoice may be paid online. Once the invoice is paid, the medical records will be mailed out. The cost is $1.51 per page. If the page count is more than 75 pages, we recommend a CD for $81.35. 

Records to other healthcare providers: Patients records will be forwarded directly to any healthcare provider at no charge.

Disability: Only disability determination agencies are authorized to request and receive patient medical records. Fees are regulated by the state of residency of that agency. Such fees are only applicable when the request is received directly from a state or federal agency.

Attorney Fees: $22.88 preparation fee. $0.76 per page plus shipping and handling fee. Attorney rates for viewing records: $25 per hour.

For any billing or technical support questions on medical records sent to you, please call 770-754-6000.