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2010 Updates for Maximum Charges for Medical Records Copies

Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., L.P.A.

Under Ohio law, the rules controlling the amount that health care providers can charge for copies of the patient’s records is updated each February by the Ohio Department of Health, based on the Consumer Price Index.  The following are the maximum amounts which can be charged for copies of a patient’s chart in 2010:

1. If the patient, the patient’s personal representative, or an authorized person wishes to simply examine the chart in the office:

• The review must be permitted without charge.

2. If the patient or the patient’s personal representative, wishes to receive a copy of the chart, the following charges apply:

• No search charge is permitted, and

• $2.73 per page for the first ten pages, and

• $0.57 per page for pages 11-50, and

• $0.23 per page for pages 51 and higher, and

• For data recorded on other than paper, $1.86 per page, and

• The actual cost of postage.

3. If a request for copies is made by a person other than the patient or the patient’s personal representative, the following charges apply:

• A search fee of $16.78, and

• $1.11 per page for the first 10 pages, and

• $0.57 per page for pages 11-50, and

• $0.23 per page for pages 51 and higher, and

• For data recorded on other than paper, $1.86 per page, and

• The actual cost of postage.

4. If the records are requested by the following entities, one copy must be provided free of charge:

• The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and

• The Industrial Commission, and

• The Department of Job and Family Services, and

• The Ohio Attorney General in the contest of a Victim of Crime Compensation claim, and

• The patient or the patient’s personal representative, if the records are necessary to support a claim under the Social Security Act.

In implementing these charges, it is important to note the following:

1. A "Patient's personal representative" means a minor patient's parent or other person acting in loco parentis, a court-appointed guardian, or a person with durable power of attorney for health care for a patient, the executor or administrator of the patient's estate, or the person responsible for the patient's estate if it is not to be probated. It specifically does not include an insurance company.

2. The request must be in writing, signed by the patient or the patient’s personal representative not more than 60 days earlier.

3. The health care provider is required to take “reasonable steps” to determine the identity of the person making the records request.

4. The inspection or copy must be provided within a “reasonable time”.

5. Under circumstances where a physician or chiropractor who has treated the patient determines for clearly stated treatment reasons that disclosure of the requested record is likely to have an adverse effect on the patient, the health care provider shall provide the record to a physician or chiropractor designated by the patient.

6. The act does not apply to certain other records request, and further is not intended to supersede certain confidentiality laws.

7. A health care facility that does not comply with the Act is subject to a civil action to enforce the right to the records as provided in the section.

NOTE: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.

This information is provided to you by Attorney John P. Maxwell and Attorney Matthew P. Mullen.  Feel free to contact them with any questions you may have at 330.497.0700.

 
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