Charging for your own medical records?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan Wright, Feb 19, 2003.

  1. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    As you know, hospitals and doctors offices and other places keep records on you. A number of years ago my wife had surgery at a local hospital. We have a need to obtain these records, as they impact a current health consideration for my wife.

    The hospital is forcing us to pay $15.00 for them!

    I know, it's only fifteen bucks, so I should just pay it and quit my whining. But I can't help but wonder if this is legal? They have information on my wife and are charging her a fee to release it to her, which disgusts me. I've had doctor and dentist records given to me on many different occasions and have never had to pay a fee, so this is a surprise to me. This is not information that they've given us previously, so it's not like we're asking for a re-print of something we already have. We simply want the internal records that the hospital has on her regarding her surgery, that have never been released to us previously.

    What are your thoughts on the ethical and legal issues here?

    (edit: title should have said "Charging FOR your own medical records")
     
  2. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    I don't know the legality of such a practice, but it sounds wholly unethical. I'd be against it just as much as you are.
     
  3. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Man, that is robbery. You have the legal rights to those records so they shouldn't charge you for them. When my wife was hospitalized last summer they gladly made photocopies of all her records for us free of charge.


    Good Luck
    Jeff
     
  4. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Ryan, I don't know where you live so I can only use this as a suggestion, but according to the New York State laws:
    http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/opmc/medright.htm

    Here's a quote from that site
     
  5. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  6. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    Your medical records do not belong to you. They belong to the institution where you had the work done. I can't remember the price but to pull a patients paper chart out of the archives takes a certain amount of money. It really depends upon the hospital or clinic. Sometimes if its stored electronically they'll just print it off for you. Other times they have to make a legal copy of the entire record and that costs more.

    A dentist or clinic is totally different from a hospital. You wouldn't believe how much paperwork is involved for just one patient and how much trouble it is to pull that patients record if its not electronic.
     
  7. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    I think $15 is reasonable. There is some cost involved in storing, retrieving, and copying the records and it makes sense that there would be a nominal charge.
     
  8. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Most states allow the charging of a fee for copying records.

    I usually give them away free, as collecting a few dollars from people for this seems to generate a lot of ill will.
     
  9. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    • First, a patient does not "own" his or her medical record. They are entitled to access it, and to have copies made from it, but it belongs to the institution which maintains it.
    • Second, institutions can charge for copying medical records for a patient. If a certain page limit is exceeded, I must charge for it according to the requirements of my institution.
    • Third, I recommend that my patients do NOT review their medical record without my assistance or the assistance of another physician.
    • The most recent HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Acountability Act) guidelines have not altered any of the above.
     
  10. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  11. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  12. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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