Consumer Rights and Protection
Medical Records

Is it legal for a medical group to charge to transfer medical records to another doctor?

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2012-01-27 23:11:59
2012-01-27 23:11:59
I just called my doctor's office to transfer my records. They said that it costs $0.5 per page for the chart and $25 for the X-rays (no matter how many). I am not sure if this was legal, but I paid anyway because I needed the records to be released today.Btw, when I was requesting records to be release from another doctor, they didn't charge me anything at all. AnswerYes, it's legal - however there's a limit: the minimal amount required to duplicate and forward the records. Whatever costs incurred by the Doctor to accomplish this task (as s/he's required to maintain the original records in her/his practice for a minimum of 7 future years) of duplication and delivery (I believe up to 50 cents per page) A little more...Actually it's arguably legal. The law in this case was put in place for patients requesting their own records, in order to offset the pure cost of copying. It was never intended for a doctor-to-doctor transfer. And this charge is NOT allowed to prevent the prompt delivery of health care (which requires your chart of course) if you don't pay. Your second doctor, by not charging you, operated within accepted practices and parameters. Your first doctor is trying something new and, to my thinking, potentially unethical. If I were consulting to this doctor, I'd advise them to discontinue this practice at once.

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.
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marshall mathers also known as eminem is in charge of the records.


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