Business of Medicine

Article

Charging for Copies of Medical Records

April 17, 2020

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and state law impose limits on what healthcare organizations can charge for providing patients (or their personal representatives) with copies of their medical records. The medical record production fees an organization may charge depend on the state in which the organization is located, the format in which the records are stored, and the form in which the patient requests the medical records to be delivered.

If a healthcare organization decides to charge for providing patients with copies of their medical records, MagMutual recommends that the organization inform the patient in advance of the approximate fee they may be charged per copy. If a patient is unable to pay the medical record production fee, MagMutual recommends that the organization provide the first copy of the medical records to the patient for free. If the requesting patient has an outstanding balance with the organization, the organization cannot withhold a copy of the records until the patient pays the outstanding balance. 

According to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), a significant percentage of OCR investigations are regarding whether a healthcare organization’s medical record production fee was “reasonable.” Based on MagMutual’s experience advising policyholders on medical record fee disputes with patients, we have developed this chart with medical record production fees we believe to be reasonable and consistent with HIPAA and state law based on our review of OCR investigations and settlements. The fees listed in the chart may not be the maximum allowable fees in each state, but are fees we believe will reduce the likelihood of a patient filing a complaint with OCR.

 

ALABAMA Ala. Code § 12-21-6.1 (2013).

For electronically maintained records delivered in electronic or paper format:
flat rate of $6.50 (which includes all labor, supplies, and postage)

For paper records delivered in paper or electronic format:
$0.50 per page + actual cost of postage

 

FLORIDA Fla. Admin. Code Rule 64B8-10.003 (2016).

For electronically maintained records delivered in electronic or paper format:
flat rate of $6.50 (which includes all labor, supplies, and postage)

For paper records delivered in paper or electronic format:
$0.25 per page + actual cost of postage

 

GEORGIA Ga. Code Ann. § 31-33-3 (2019).

For electronically maintained records delivered in electronic or paper format:
flat rate of $6.50 (which includes all labor, supplies, and postage)

For paper records delivered in paper or electronic format:
$0.66 per page + actual cost of postage

 

ILLINOIS 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/8-2001 (2019).

For electronically maintained records delivered in electronic or paper format:
flat rate of $6.50 (which includes all labor, supplies, and postage)

For paper records delivered in paper or electronic format:
$0.25 per page + actual cost of postage         

 

KENTUCKY Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 422.317 (2019).

For electronically maintained records delivered in electronic or paper format:
first copy free to patient; after first copy, flat rate of $6.50 (which includes all labor, supplies, and postage)

For paper records delivered in paper or electronic format:
first copy free to patient; after first copy, $1.00 per page + actual cost of postage  

 

NORTH CAROLINA N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-411 (2015).

For electronically maintained records delivered in electronic or paper format:
flat rate of $6.50 (which includes all labor, supplies, and postage)

For paper records delivered in paper or electronic format:
$0.25 per page + actual cost of postage         

 

SOUTH CAROLINA S.C. Code Ann. § 44-115-80 (2016).

For electronically maintained records delivered in electronic or paper format:
flat rate of $6.50 (which includes all labor, supplies, and postage)

For paper records delivered in paper or electronic format:
$0.50 per page + actual cost of postage (total may not exceed $150.00)

 

TENNESSEE Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-2-102 (2016).

For electronically maintained records delivered in electronic or paper format:
flat rate of $6.50 (which includes all labor, supplies, and postage)

For paper records delivered in paper or electronic format:
$0.50 per page + actual cost of postage

 

VIRGINIA Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-413 (2017).

For electronically maintained records delivered in electronic or paper format:
flat rate of $6.50 (which includes all labor, supplies, and postage)

For paper records delivered in paper or electronic format:
$0.25 per page + actual cost of postage (total may not exceed $150.00)

 

WEST VIRGINIA W. Va. Code Ann. § 16-29-2 (2017).

For electronically maintained records delivered in electronic or paper format:
flat rate of $6.50 (which includes all labor, supplies, and postage)

For paper records delivered in paper or electronic format:
$0.20 per page + actual cost of postage (total may not exceed $150.00)

Disclaimer

The information provided in this resource does not constitute legal, medical or any other professional advice, nor does it establish a standard of care. This resource has been created as an aid to you in your practice. The ultimate decision on how to use the information provided rests solely with you, the PolicyOwner.