Cap on Charges for Medical Records

July 3, 2019

Almost every state has a cap on how much various medical providers can charge for providing medical records. Below are the rules for the Southeastern States:

Florida:

Hospitals: $1 per page, plus sales tax and actual postage. Non-paper records (such as microfiche) are subject to a charge not to exceed $2 per page. A fee of up to $1 may be charged for each year of requested records. However, this does not apply to records maintained at any licensed facility that primarily provides psychiatric care, or to records of treatment for any mental or emotional condition, or records of substance abuse. Florida Statutes, Title XXIX, Chapter 395, § 3025.

Doctors: While “the Board of Medicine urges physicians to provide their patients a copy of their medical records, upon request, without cost, especially when the patient is economically disadvantaged,” the doctor is permitted to charge $1 per page for the first 25 pages and 25¢ for each additional page. But, the doctor may charge the actual cost of reproduction for x- rays and other special kinds of records. Florida Administrative Code § 64B8-10.003. Of note, Florida is still in the process of revising Rule 64B8-10.003. The rule proposed on March 15, 2015 would change the cost for supplying records to a flat $1 per page, among other things.

Georgia: Per § 31-33-3(a) of the Official Georgia Code Annotated (O.G.C.A.), which sets forth the costs of copying and mailing patient records, these costs “shall not apply to records requested in order to make or complete an application for a disability benefits program.” Notably, according to O.G.C.A. § 31-33-3(c), this Code section does apply to a patient’s psychiatric, psychological, and other mental health records. Official Georgia Code Annotated § 31-33-3. See also Georgia Department of Community Health, Medical Records Retrieval Rates.

Alabama: Effective April 14, 2018, $1 per page for the first 25 pages, 50¢ per page for each additional page, and the actual cost of mailing the records. In addition to those fees, the medical provider can charge the actual reproduction costs of x-rays and other special medical records. For electronic copies, “a flat fee that would not exceed the cost of providing the records in paper form may be charged.” Alabama Administrative Code § 540-x-9-.10(2). Although the Code of Alabama § 12-21-6.1 still permits medical providers to charge a $5 search fee, the costs associated with “searching for and retrieving” medical records are not permitted under the HIPAA Privacy Rule and may not be charged “even if such costs are authorized by State law.”

 

 

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