Rule Raising the Cost for Copies of Medical Records to be Tabled Until Next Florida Board of Medicine Meeting

Monday, October 14, 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 will stay where it is, for now. On October 3, 2013, the Florida Board of Medicine voted to not allow an increase to the cost of medical records requested by patients and others from physicians. The Board did vote to conduct research on the topic and discuss the issue again at the next Board meeting.

There is a proposal to the current Florida Administrative Code Rule (64B8-10.003, F.A.C.) to increase costs allowed to be charged for copying medical records. Currently, in Florida, patients pay $1 a page for the first 25 pages and 25 cents for every page after that. Under the proposal, every copy would cost $1 per page. The cost would be the same even if the patient receives the medical record electronically instead of on paper. If approved, the price of copying a 1,000 page document would climb from $268.75 to $1,000.

Click here to read the minutes from the October 3, 2013, meeting of the Florida Board of Medicine Rules/Legislative Committee.

If the proposal passes, Florida would be 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.

Supporters and Opponents Argued Sides to Florida Board of Medicine.


During the meeting The Board heard comments from individuals regarding this rule and the proposed price hike.

Supporters of the change, such as the Florida Medical Association (FMA) and the Florida Chapter of the American College of Physicians, stated that the $1.00 per page charge is consistent with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), which allows hospitals to charge $1.00 per page.

Opponents stated that increasing the cost is unfair and unjust to low-income patients, seniors and parents of children enrolling in school. These patient advocacy groups, such as the American Patient Rights Association, argue that patients are already paying for the doctor appointment, which should cover the cost of medical record requests.

Be sure to check our blog regularly for updates to this story.

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?


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


Sources:

Haughney, Kathleen. “Cost for Transferring Your Records to a New Doctor Could Rise Sharply.” Sun Sentinel. (October 2, 2013). From: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-10-02/news/fl-medical-record-hike-a-state-medical-board-will-20131002_1_digital-records-medical-records-new-doctor

Royle, Caribe. “Meeting Report.” Florida Board of Medicine. (October 3, 2013). From: http://ww10.doh.state.fl.us/pub/medicine/Agenda_Info/Public_Information/Public_Minutes/October2013/10032013_R-L_Minutes.pdf


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), doctor, physician, paper medical records, electronic medical records, medical record request, Florida attorney, Florida lawyer, defense attorney, defense lawyer, The Health Law Firm
"The Health Law Firm" is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. - The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
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10/14/2013

Comments:

Response to: Rule Raising the Cost for Copies of Medical Records to be Tabled Until Next Florida Board of Medicine Meeting
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Stanton Braverman says:

I am contemplating bringing an action against a local hospital for contract interference because the doctor that was treating me at the hospital left the area. The reason he left is that his contract with the hospital included a covenant not to compete. In Virginia there is a serious question about the legality of such clauses. The hospital wanted to assign a new specialist but I went to a different doctor who has privileges with the hospital and he immediately sent me out for a number of tests the original doctor did not see as being necessary and I refused to get. I feel that the covenant interfered in my contractual relationship with the doctor and created a serious health issue for me. Such an action would be a tort and there can be an award for compensatory damages. This is a serious threat to the public safety of a locality and to community health. It forces the doctor to cave in to the pressure of the hospital to bring in people for unnecessary tests and procedures. If they fa

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