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  1. #1
    debodun is offline Member
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    Who has ownership of medical records?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? NY

    When I wanted to get a second opinion, I asked a doctor for my records. His staff said that they could make copies for me, but that the doctor would retain the original file. They wanted to charge me $1 for each page, and since my records are "extensive" it would come to over $100. Are medical records the property of the patient or the doctor? What is a reasonable fee to pay, if any, to obtain them?
  2. #2
    racer72 is offline Senior Member
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    The records belong to the doctor, not you. $1 a page sounds reasonable. Why don't you have your "second opinion" doctor request the records, generally doctors will supply other doctors with medical records without charge. Of course, the records supplied to the second doctor belong to him, not you.
    If you feel my answer is rude, mean, snarky or in anyway not to your liking, I did my job. You don't need to tell me.

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  3. #3
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Records are the property of the doctor's office. You are entitled to a copy under HIPAA, but not only is the doctor permitted to retain the original, he is REQUIRED to. Once the copy is in your hands, the COPY becomes your property. They are allowed to charge you for copying and it represents not only the material cost but the time involved in copying the record. $1/page sounds a little high but not unreasonably so especially for NY.
  4. #4
    ajkroy is offline Member
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    This is a common misconception. The doctor owns the records. He or she must keep those records for years (as many as 18, depending upon the age of the patient), for potential reference and/or legal purposes.

    You are entitled to copies with proper advance notice. It is common to charge the patient for the time and effort taken to reproduce the records, though $100 seems excessive (and some states have caps on how much an office can charge). Be prepared that the record will most likely only contain information actually generated from that office and any records from previous providers will not be included.
  5. #5
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    It would be incorrect for the office to only include THEIR records although many do this. If they try to tell you that, inform them that they are required to release copies of EVERYTHING in your file with the possible exception of mental health records.
  6. #6
    lealea1005 is offline Senior Member
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    Be prepared that the record will most likely only contain information actually generated from that office and any records from previous providers will not be included.
    Unless otherwise requested, the entire medical record on hand will be copied.

    Each state has their own regulations regarding charges for review and copying a medical record.

    The Physician also has a "reasonable time" to get the copies to the patient.
    Last edited by lealea1005; 09-18-2009 at 11:41 AM. Reason: add sentence
  7. #7
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lealea1005 View Post
    Unless otherwise requested, the entire medical record on hand will be copied.

    Each state has their own regulations regarding charges for review and copying a medical record.

    The Physician also has a "reasonable time" to get the copies to the patient.
    HIPAA gives them a "reasonable time" to produce them. More than 2 weeks is generally not "reasonable" in NY absent extenuating circumstances.
    http://www.health.state.ny.us/publications/1443/

    Copy costs are limited to $0.75/page as per statute. (You also are permitted to inspect (not a copy) the records within ten days of your request.)
    Quote Originally Posted by NY PHL
    § 17. Release of medical records. Upon the written request of any
    competent patient, parent or guardian of an infant, a guardian appointed
    pursuant to article eighty-one of the mental hygiene law, or conservator
    of a conservatee, an examining, consulting or treating physician or
    hospital must release and deliver, exclusive of personal notes of the
    said physician or hospital, copies of all x-rays, medical records and
    test records including all laboratory tests regarding that patient to
    any other designated physician or hospital provided, however, that such
    records concerning the treatment of an infant patient for venereal
    disease or the performance of an abortion operation upon such infant
    patient shall not be released or in any manner be made available to the
    parent or guardian of such infant, and provided, further, that original
    mammograms, rather than copies thereof, shall be released and delivered.
    Either the physician or hospital incurring the expense of providing
    copies of x-rays, medical records and test records including all
    laboratory tests pursuant to the provisions of this section may impose a
    reasonable charge to be paid by the person requesting the release and
    deliverance of such records as reimbursement for such expenses,
    provided, however, that the physician or hospital may not impose a
    charge for copying an original mammogram when the original has been
    released or delivered to any competent patient, parent or guardian of an
    infant, a guardian appointed pursuant to article eighty-one of the
    mental hygiene law, or a conservator of a conservatee and provided,
    further, that any charge for delivering an original mammogram pursuant
    to this section shall not exceed the documented costs associated
    therewith. However, the reasonable charge for paper copies shall not
    exceed seventy-five cents per page
    . A release of records under this
    section shall not be denied solely because of inability to pay.
    For the purposes of this section the term "laboratory tests" shall
    include but not be limited to tests and examinations administered in
    clinical laboratories or blood banks as those terms are defined in
    section five hundred seventy-one of this chapter.
    Although, a lot of doctors/hospital will try to ding you with extra charges (i.e. retrieval fee; handling charge, etc.) which will bring the cost over $0/.75/page.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.

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