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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT/OTHER INFORMATION REQUESTS
BUREAU OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES - HEALTH FACILITIES DIVISION AND LONG TERM CARE DIVISION
(Policy Summary)

With few exceptions, any public record is available for viewing or copying by any person who provides a written request for the document with sufficient specificity that the document can be identified. All written requests for public records are handled as Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. All FOIA requests are required to be in writing.

A person has the right to subscribe to future issuances of public records which are created, issued or disseminated on a regular basis for up to twelve (12) months. A "person" is defined to mean an individual, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, firm, organization, association, governmental entity, or other legal entity. A person does not include an individual serving a sentence of imprisonment in a state or county correctional facility in this state or any other state, or in a federal correctional facility.

TO REQUEST INFORMATION UNDER FOIA
All FOIA requests for information from the Bureau of Health Care Services' Health Facilities Division or Long Term Care Division must be addressed to the FOIA Coordinator. These requests should contain the facility name and a detailed description of the desired information and must be in writing. They may be sent by mail, fax, or e-mail and should also contain the requester's name, address and telephone number.

MAILING ADDRESS
FOIA Coordinator
LARA/BHCS/Administrative Support Division
PO Box 30664
Lansing, MI 48909-8164
Fax: 517-241-2635
E-Mail: BHCS-FOIAINFO@michigan.gov 

FEES
FOIA fees are charged for providing a copy of a public record. Fees are limited to actual mailing costs, duplication or publication costs. Cost of examination, review and the deletion and separation of exempt from nonexempt information are charged only if the costs are unreasonably high and such reason is identified.

CONTACT THE BUREAU AT 517-373-6637 FOR THE FIXED RATE OF SPECIFIC DIRECTORIES AND REPORTS. THE FEE SHALL BE SENT WITH THE REQUEST. 

All other requests are invoiced prior to release of the documents. For requests estimated to total $50 or more, half of the estimate is required to be paid, prior to preparation of the documents. Requests from recognized local, state, federal, foreign governmental agencies and bodies are responded to without charge, except in unusual circumstances.

RESPONSE TIME ON FOIA REQUESTS
All written requests are responded to within five (5) business days following the date the request is received. The five (5) day count begins the day the FOIA request is received by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The requester may be notified of a ten (10) business day extension if the files are voluminous, at different locations, or if other reasons make it impossible to assemble and mail the request out within the five (5) day period.

Appointments may be made to review files in the Bureau's Lansing office through a written request including the requester's telephone number. The Bureau will contact the requester by telephone to set up the appointment when the requested files are available for viewing.

RIGHT TO APPEAL
A person whose request is denied in whole or in part may appeal the denial to the Director of the Department or commence an action in Circuit Court.

MEDICAL RECORDS
Confidentiality provisions apply to medical records obtained by the Bureau. Medical records will not be released to a requestor without a signed authorization for release from the compiler of the records, provider of the records, or the subject of the records.

For additional information, please contact:
Tom Gawrych
FOIA Coordinator, Bureau of Health Care Services 
Phone: 517-373-6637
Email: BHCS-FOIAINFO@michigan.gov

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