Florida Board of Medicine Votes to Raise the Fees for Copies of Medical Records

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

The cost of copying medical records is going up. On December 6, 2013, the Florida Board of Medicine voted unanimously to raise the cap on charges for copying medical records to $1 per page. Previously in Florida, physicians were allowed to charge up to $1 a page for the first 25 pages and 25 cents for every page after that. Under the new rule, for example, a physician could charge up to $1,000 for a copy of a 1,000 page medical record instead of $268.75 under the old rule.

However, you should note that this is the maximum amount a physician is allowed to charge. Physicians may charge less than this. Many physicians do not charge their patients nor charge other physicians requesting copies.

The cost is the same even if patients receive their medical records electronically instead of on paper.

The new charges will not take effect right away, because the Board has to start all over again on the rule-making process.

Click here to read the minutes from the December 6, 2013, meeting of the Florida Board of Medicine.

Now that the proposal passed, Florida is the second most expensive state in the country for medical record requests. Minnesota has the top spot, allowing doctors to charge $1.30 per page.


HealthPort Technologies Called for Change.


According to Health News Florida, the increase in fees was requested by HealthPort Technologies, a medical records company headquartered in Georgia. The company stated that its costs are higher than the maximum that was previously authorized. The company claimed this was attributed to changes in health care laws, privacy requirements and the electronic security needed to protect digital records.

Click here to read the entire article from Health News Florida.


Rule Previously Tabled by Board.


The Board of Medicine has been contemplating raising the limit on copying charges for a while. A committee of the Board tentatively adopted the change at the October 3, 2013, hearing, pending more research.

To read my previous blog on the decision to table raising the costs of copying medical records, click here.


Should Patients Be Charged the Same Amount for Paper and Electronic Medical Records?


We question whether it is fair to anyone to charge $1,000 for an electronic version of a 1,000 page medical record. It could be copied over and over again quickly, easily and at little expense. If anything, there should be a reduced fee for electronic records.


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Comments?

How do you feed about patient medical record requests being increased to $1.00 per page? Do you think the cost for paper and electronic medical records should be the same? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.


Source:

Gentry, Carol. “Record Fees Going Up.” Health News Florida. (December 6, 2013). From: http://health.wusf.usf.edu/post/record-fees-going  


About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.


Tag Words: medical record, medical records, cost of medical records, Florida medical records, Florida cost for medical records, Florida Board of Medicine, Florida Medical Association (FMA), Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), HealthPort Technologies, doctor, physician, paper medical records, electronic medical records, medical record request, Florida attorney, Florida lawyer, defense attorney, defense lawyer, The Health Law Firm



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12/10/2013

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