Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Charging YOU for YOUR Medical Records...

I get this complaint a lot.  "Why the F*#( am I paying $25 for MY medical records?"

Because you requested them in writing....

Here's the law.  I've quote the specific statute:

Can a doctor charge me for copies of my medical records or x-rays?

Yes, pursuant to Health & Safety Code section 123110, a doctor can charge 25 cents per page plus a reasonable clerical fee. For diagnostic films, such as an x-ray, MRI, CT and PET scans, you can be charged the actual cost of copying the films. This only applies if you have made a written request for a copy of your medical records to be provided to you.

What if my doctor won't give me a copy of my records?

As long as you requested your medical records in writing, to be sent directly to you (and not to anyone else, like your new doctor), the physician is required to send you a copy within specified time limits. If you are having difficulty getting your records, you can file a complaint with the Medical Board. If we can substantiate the complaint, as the physician's licensing agency, the Board will take the appropriate action against the physician's license for failing to provide the records within the legal time limit.

Does a doctor have to give me a copy of reports or records he got from me or from other doctors?

The guidelines from the California Medical Association indicate that physicians must provide anything that they are maintaining in the medical record for you (as the patient), which includes records from other providers. So, for example, you should be able to receive a copy of a specialist's consultation report from your primary care physician, since he/she has incorporated it as a part of your medical chart. You don't need "special permission" from the specialist nor do you need to obtain this report only from the specialist.

May seem like a boondoggle, just trying to get more money out of you...and yes, you're right.

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