The $25 cost of transferring x-rays is marginally acceptable if your doctor actually copied and transferred film, which is in this day and age, is rare, as most medical imagery is transferred via telecommunications, CD/DVD, MO storage, etc. If this imagery went over the wire, I'd say this was malfeasant.
There is, to my knowledge, law here but no precedent; it's not gone to court yet. If you object to this practice, you might consider getting a copy of HIPAA, and carrying it with you into small claims court. I think there's a good chance you'd prevail in your attempt to recover your monies.Another answer...Yes, they can. Sometimes they just charge a flat rate, other times they charge by the page.
A physician cannot charge you to take your records from the office. Those are YOUR property and you should have them as soon as you request them. Having not paid your bill is a sort of gray area, as they are still yours, but they are a part of the service for which you are being charged, and have not paid for. Has your physician denied you your records? If so I would be even more likely to take them and find another physician. A physician who is keeping your records may be hiding something that you would find disagreeable. If the physician will not give them to you the best idea would be to consult a medical mal-practice lawyer.
Usually you can send a signed, written request to your doctor requesting your medical records. You can also go in person to get them, at which time they will have you sign a medical release form (even though they're your own medical records). But many medical facilities charge a fee for this, which can vary depending on how large your medical file is. There are some doctors and medical facilities that are, for what ever reason, reluctant to give a person copies of their medical records. However, you do have a legal right to them, even if the doctor doesn't want to give them to you. If you have a problem getting your records, don't give up - just inform them you know the law regarding your rights, and you will persist until you get your records. They will then usually give in to your request, and give you the records.
Get StartedMedical records contain highly private and personal information and are considered confidential. Patients generally have the right to their own medical information and the right to control who else has access to their records. Therefore, with certain exceptions, medical information can only be released with the written authorization of the patient or the patient's authorized representative. This document can be used to provide the necessary authorization. Under rare circumstances, a health care provider may restrict the release of medical records to the patient if the release could be harmful to the patient or others.Most states recognize that the actual medical records are the property of the health care provider who compiles, stores, and maintains the information. Typically, then, only copies of medical records are released and the health care provider maintains the original record. Providers can charge a fee for copying the records but should not deny the release of medical records because the patient has outstanding medical bills.Many health care providers have very specific procedures regarding the release of medical records because of confidentiality concerns and the special protection afforded certain types of records such as HIV, mental health, and substance abuse information. Although this form specifically addresses certain types of records, providers may require you to use their specific form to authorize the release of records. Therefore, it is possible that a provider will not honor this program's form.
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