Can a doctor refuse to send your medical records? 22 Answers as of October 25, 2012

My doctor is refusing to send my medical records to a new doctor I have found and he says that he will send them only if I pay him $100.00. I have no outstanding balance and do not think it's right to have to pay that amount just to get my personal information like (MRIs) from him that I gave to him in the first place.

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Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
Probably not. Send a letter threatening to file a complaint with the Board of Healing Arts.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 10/25/2012
The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
Generally a doctor should send records to fellow doctor.provided proper HIPPA authorizations are executed. Under the public health law he may charge 75 cents a page for copying.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/24/2012
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
The applicable laws from the S.C. Code of laws are:

SECTION 44-115-20. Physician is owner of certain patient records. The physician is the owner of medical records in his possession that were made in treating a patient and of records transferred to him concerning prior treatment of the patient.

SECTION 44-115-30. Patient's right to receive copy of medical record or have it transferred to another physician; written authorization required. A patient or his legal representative has a right to receive a copy of his medical record, or have the record transferred to another physician, upon request, when accompanied by a written authorization from the patient or his representative to release the record.

SECTION 44-115-80. Fees physician may charge for search and duplication of records. A physician, or other owner of medical records as provided for in Section 44-115-130, may charge a fee for the search and duplication of a medical record, but the fee may not exceed sixty-five cents per page for the first thirty pages and fifty cents per page for all other pages, and a clerical fee for searching and handling not to exceed fifteen dollars per request plus actual postage and applicable sales tax. A physician, health care provider, or other owner of medical records must provide a patient's medical records at no charge when the patient is referred by the physician, health care provider, or an employee, agent, or contractor of the owner of the record to another physician or health care provider for continuation of treatment for a specific condition or conditions. The physician may charge a patient or the patient's representative no more than the actual cost of reproduction of an X-ray. Actual cost means the cost of materials and supplies used to duplicate the X-ray and the labor and overhead costs associated with the duplication.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 10/24/2012
Lombardi Law Firm
Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
Answer: Yes. Doctors want to get paid for their staff's time in assembling and copying the records; so you should pay a reasonable fee. Is $100 reasonable? I have no way of knowing, but keep in mind that MRI's are not cheap to copy.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 10/24/2012
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Have the new doctor request the records. There is a Michigan statute that controls what the doctor can charge. If you are on Medicaid, I do not think that the doctor can charge anything.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/24/2012
    Law Offices of Mark West
    Law Offices of Mark West | Mark West
    This may address your question. Go to: healthlsncnet/can-i-get-copies-of-my-medical-records
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
    The doctor should provide records to another physician for purposes of your ongoing medical care. You may want to contact the state or local medical association regarding this problem.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    File a complaint with the medical licensing board.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    In Nevada the law allows medical providers to charge sixty cents a page when providing patients their medical records.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    I do not know of any statute on this issue unless you have an attorney.

    In that event, the attorney can request the records and the doctor is limited to what he can charge far less than $100:

    California Evidence Code section 1158: "Reasonable cost," as used in this section, shall include, but not be limited to, the following specific costs: ten cents ($0.10) per page for standard reproduction of documents of a size 8 1/2 by 14inches or less; twenty cents ($0.20) per page for copying of documents from microfilm; actual costs for the reproduction of oversize documents or the reproduction of documents requiring special processing which are made in response to an authorization;reasonable clerical costs incurred in locating and making the records available to be billed at the maximum rate of sixteen dollars ($16) per hour per person, computed on the basis of four dollars ($4) per quarter hour or fraction thereof; actual postage charges; and actual costs, if any, charged to the witness by a third person for the retrieval and return of records held by that third person.

    You might contact the medical board to see if there is a rule on this topic limiting charges for copies.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Timiney Law Firm
    Timiney Law Firm | Leigh Anne Timiney
    In Arizona, a physician cannot legally withhold your medical records. I suspect most states are similar. Medical records are considered your property which you have every right to a copy of.

    Most states allow a physician or medical facility to charge you for the copying or reproduction costs associated with providing you a copy of your medical records. $100 sounds a little bit high, but it depends upon what your particular state allows a physician to charge per page for photocopying medical records and how large your medical record is.

    I believe Arizona states that a physician or medical facility may charge 10 cents per page to a patient for copying of their medical records.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    He must send your records , they are your property. He can charge copying costs.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Typically when your new doctor asks for copies of records, the old doctor sends them at no charge.

    Perhaps you should ask your new doctor to request your prior records....unless your old doctor doesn't believe in an age-old thing called professional courtesy.

    If you are asking for your records, your old doctor has the right to charge you up to $1.00/page for the copies for the first 25 pages and then 25 cents a page thereafter.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    He's not refusing to send the records, he's just requiring payment for them. In NY, the maximum charge is 75 cents per page.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    No. A doctor cannot refuse to send you medical records.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Looks like you got into a pushing and shoving contest with the wrong person. The file is yours and you are entitled to it. if he doesn't surrender the file to YOU report the matter to the ethics committee of the medical society in your town or at state level in Raleigh. I suspect there is a little more to this than you say.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Ask your new doctor to request the records. The old one is, generally, allowed to charge a reasonable fee to cover the costs of duplicating your records.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Tell the doctor's office you will report him to the state Dept of Health if the records are received in 48 hours, then follow up and report him or her. If that doesn't work, sue the doctor in small claims court.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    Almost all States allow a doctor to charge a minimum of $50 for medical record copy. You have a right to the records but not the free copies.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Law Offices of Steven D. Urban
    Law Offices of Steven D. Urban | Steven D. Urban
    See Rule 165.2(e) of the Texas Medical Board: (e) Allowable Charges.

    (1) The physician responding to a request for such information shall be entitled to receive a reasonable, cost-based fee for providing the requested information. A reasonable fee shall be a charge of no more than $25 for the first twenty pages and $.50 per page for every copy thereafter. If an affidavit is requested, certifying that the information is a true and correct copy of the records, a reasonable fee of up to $15 may be charged for executing the affidavit. A physician may charge separate fees for medical and billing records requested. The fee may not include costs associated with searching for and retrieving the requested information.

    (2) A reasonable fee, shall include only the cost of: (A) copying, including the labor and cost of supplies for copying; (B) postage, when the individual has requested the copy or summary be mailed; and (C) preparing a summary of the records when appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/24/2012
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