I'm switching to a new rheumy at a university hospital per my primary, so I requested my records from my last rheumy. The office is charging me per page (about $50). I questioned it and she said I was lucky because their office is not as strict and I was getting a break. Have others encountered this? Is this federal/state policy or an individual office thing?
I have never been charged for medical records. I ask and they get em to me. I always wonder if I've gotten everything though. When I was going to get records from the hospital that was as far back as 2004 then I would be charged as they would be archived.
The Following User Says Thank You to mom477 For This Useful Post: kissymoomom (09-15-2012)
If you have them faxed over or have the new dr request them prior to your appointment there should be no charge. They can charge you for personal copies, even if you state you're taking them to your new dr. Just have 'em sent over so that way you don't have to pay.
In my experience, the reason many offices now charge a per-page fee for copying medical records is because many now contract an outside company to come in and do the copying rather than tie up the usually already busy office staff. (Copying medical records can be very time consuming, and the need can fluctuate greatly depending on how many patients are requesting a copy of their records at any particular time.) Commonly what I've observed is an individual from the company contracted by the medical office comes in once or twice a week and does nothing but copy whatever records have been requested-- frequently even bringing their own copier! The company then charges the medical office a fee per page copied, which is then passed on to the patient.
I'm assuming you meant the $50 fee was the total amount you were charged, not per page. I suggest that patients be judicious in what they actually request to have copied. You should be allowed to review your medical file while in the doctor's office to decide what pages to ask to have copied. By doing this you can avoid paying for the copying of unnecessary or redundant information. If your purpose is to hand-carry your records to an appointment, be sure you fully understand which records that physician wants to see.
I agree with the poster who said that you aren't usually charged a fee when the records are copied in response to a requisition from another doctor. Often this copying is done by a regular staff member rather than by the contracted company, especially if it's related to a referral to a specialist. The main drawback to this is it's not uncommon for you to arrive for your appointment with the specialist before your records do, even when your appoinment is weeks away. I suggest you get the copies yourself and hand carry them to your appoinment (this is what I personally do when necessary.) IDEALLY, if possible, keep all your doctors within the same medical system; that way they each have access to your medical record electronically so nothing ever needs to be copied and sent!